people walking in sculpture park
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities Washington

Seattle is number 2 Memorial Day travel destination

Caption: Covered in monumental artworks, this award-winning nine-acre sculpture park on the waterfront is Seattle’s largest downtown green space and is just one mile north of the Seattle Art Museum.

AAA Travel booking data shows that reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises and hotels for Memorial Day are up 122% over last year. With the official start to summer just four weeks away, AAA wants travelers to know it’s not too late to plan a trip for Memorial Day.

“Across the nation, we’ve seen a notable increase in travel bookings with AAA in early spring, which is a strong indication of what to expect this summer,” said Michelle Glass, AAA Washington Vice President, Travel Services. “While booking in advance often provides you the luxury of low prices and lots of inventory to choose from, travel agents have the inside scoop on last-minute deals that you might not find yourself.”

Airfares – Best (and Worst) Time to Book for Memorial Day

Recent AAA booking data shows the best time to purchase airfare is about two weeks before Memorial Day with travelers paying an average of $445 per ticket. Those who like a longer planning window paid slightly more since flights reserved 28 – 60 days ahead of the holiday averaged $470 each. Sunday offers the lowest airfare followed by Friday (an average price of $543 and $596, respectively).

AAA advises that travelers looking for a last-minute deal by waiting to book the week of Memorial Day will end up paying almost double – an average of $845 per flight. In the past, the cheapest day to fly for Memorial Day weekend has consistently been Saturday. This year, however, it is the most expensive day to fly. As expected, Friday is the most popular air travel day and Memorial Day is the lightest.

When looking at the average costs of airfare for each day over Memorial Day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) for 2022 compared to 2021, flights are skewing about $160 more this year.

Top Destinations for Washington Travelers include Sunnier Skies

The top destinations for travelers booking through AAA Washington are western states with warmer temperatures:

1.       Hawaii – Honolulu, Kahului, Kona

2.       Arizona – Phoenix

3.       California – San Diego, San Francisco, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles

4.       New Mexico – Albuquerque

5.       Nevada – Las Vegas

giant erasure
Typewriter Eraser, Scale X is a sculpture of a large-scale typewriter eraser by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Ten Top Domestic Destinations

Across the nation, travelers are targeting big cities and beaches for their Memorial Day getaways this year. These are the top 10 domestic destinations according to AAA bookings across the nation for flights, tours, car rentals and hotels:

1.       Orlando, FL

2.       Seattle, WA

3.       Miami, FL

4.       Las Vegas, NV

5.       Anchorage, AK

6.       Honolulu, HI

7.       Boston, MA

8.       Anaheim, CA

9.       New York, NY

10.   San Francisco, CA

Think Like an Early Bird

Work with a trusted travel agent to maximize time, savings and alleviate stress. Industry experts have many resources at their disposal to help plan and organize a trip that fits a traveler’s specific needs and budget. They can easily look at a variety of options and scenarios to find deals and savings not always available to the public. AAA also offers travelers the following advice:

·         Flexibility is key – where and when you travel – fly on off-peak times/days, pick a hidden gem closer to home or opt to stay at an all-inclusive resort with plenty of on-site activities. This limits the need for a rental car and paying a la carte for entertainment and dining.

·         Book early – flights, hotels, tours, cruises, car rentals – the earlier the better to lock in the best rate and make sure to ask about discounts for pre-paying. Something else a travel agent can help navigate.

·         Travel with your bubble – small group travel rose in popularity during the pandemic when many opted to vacation with people they were in regular close contact with. Consider taking a group trip to divvy up costs for things like activities and accommodations. If everyone is spread out, a travel agent can help manage the logistics.

·         Protect your investment –Travel insurance provides a safety net should something unexpected happen ahead of or during your trip. This is another example of where a travel agent is useful. They know you, your trip, your budget and your specific needs and can easily walk you through what travel insurance policy makes the most sense.