Memorial Day Weekend Travel Will Be At Highest Levels Since Recession

700K Residents Will Be On Road This Weekend

There will be an uptick in air travel over the weekend. Photo: Mike Shoup (CC-BY-NC)

Wisconsin residents, stir crazy after a long winter, are expected to travel at the highest levels seen in years this Memorial Day weekend.

More than 700,000 Wisconsin residents are expected to hit the road this weekend, the highest number since the latest recession. According to AAA Wisconsin, the vast majority of vacationers are driving, but flights are slightly up, and traveling by bus, train, and cruise ship will see a greater bump.

Spokesman Nick Jarmusz says slightly more expensive ticket costs, hotels, and rental cars aren’t keeping people at home.

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“People are feeling more confident in spending the money as the economy continues its slow but steady recovery,” Jarmusz said. “And there’s so much pent-up desire to get out there – a lot of cabin fever this summer with the harsh winter we had. People really want to make an outing this weekend and they’re going to make it work regardless the cost.”

According to, fuel is down about $0.30 per gallon this year compared to last Memorial Day weekend.

As a way to deal with anticipated traffic, the state Department of Transportation is suspending major road construction projects from Friday afternoon until 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Project Services Manager Don Greuel says they halt construction to cut down on backups and accidents.

“So we pull back the barrels, we try to make the traffic flow as much as possible and reduce congestion,” he said.

Greuel says officers will be out in full force this weekend on the lookout for problem drivers and people not wearing their seatbelts.