Memorial Day travel could hit a 20-year high, AAA says

An estimated 43.8 million people are expected to travel over the holiday weekend

NBC Universal, Inc.

If you're planning to travel this Memorial Day weekend, be prepared for a lot of company.

According to AAA, nearly 44 million people will be heading out of town for the holiday, the highest number of travelers since 2005.

The majority of travelers, roughly 38 million, will drive to their destinations. Another 3.5 million will fly, and the Transportation Security Administration said Friday would be the busiest day at airports nationwide.

San Diego International Airport is prepared to welcome 73,000 travelers each day through Tuesday, a 5% increase from last Memorial Day weekend.

The Auto Club recommends travelers allow extra time to get to the airport.

"Make sure you arrive at the airport two hours before if it's a domestic flight, three hours before if it's an international flight," said AAA spokesperson Anlleyn Venegas.

Venegas also recommended that travelers download their airline's app to be alerted to any delays or cancellations, to reserve parking ahead of time and, "Try to stay calm because, yes, airports are gonna be very, very busy during this weekend."

The roads will also be busy.

Those driving to their destinations are encouraged to leave early in the morning or late at night to avoid peak congestion. Venegas said the best times are before 11 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

It's also important to be well-rested and to check your car's battery, tire and fluid levels before you head out, she added.

"Also, always carry an emergency kit," Venegas said. "That includes a cell phone charger, water, food, maybe a blanket, and if you do get stranded on the side of the road, stay inside your vehicle. Don't get out of your vehicle. That could be very, very dangerous."

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