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Record travel numbers expected locally for Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 6:22 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 18:22:50-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — Triple A estimates 3.39 million Americans will board a plane and 37.1 million will drive this Memorial Day weekend. Officials with Tallahassee International Airport also expect a busy weekend.

TLH Deputy Director of Aviation Jim Durwin said they expect Thursday and Friday to be the busiest days.

"This year, we anticipate our numbers for the memorial day holiday to be close to or perhaps over what we saw in 2019," Durwin said. "We are expecting a busy few days here at the Tallahassee International Airport."

With Triple A estimating a record-breaking 42 million Americans traveling this year, Durwin said they expect an increase in passengers.

That trend continuing from earlier months, with TLH seeing April passenger numbers only 3,000 shy of the same time in 2019.

Something Durwin said TLH has prepared for.

"We are definitely ready and we're excited," Durwin said. "We appreciate choosing to utilize the Tallahassee International Airport.

Not everyone is taking to the air. Many people are getting in their cars this weekend to take advantage of savings. The state's gas price average $3.37, down $1.20 from this time last year.

The Big Bend's cheapest prices are found in Gadsden County at $3.27. The most expensive in the area is in Wakulla County at $3.44.

"Doesn't hurt the old pocket book as bad," said traveler Brian Cazes.

Money is part of the reason why the Cazes family drove to Disney World from Louisiana, making a stop at the beach for the weekend.

Brian Cazes said traffic has been better than he expected.

"The road, traffic, hasn't been too bad. Only a few little accidents. Nice, nice roads," Cazes said.

According to Triple A, the best time to head out before the holiday weekend is Friday morning before noon. Triple A also recommends coming back before 10 a.m. Monday or before 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Whether you are hopping on plane or getting in the car, Durwin said you need to be prepared for your travel.

"I can't overemphasize enough, get to the airport early," Durwin said. "I recommend that two hours prior and check that TSA website for some helpful travel tips."