Memorial Day weekend expected to be busiest travel season in years

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Memorial Day weekend is here. Travel experts say it’s the official start to summer vacations, and this year high prices aren’t scaring many people away.  

In fact, a local travel agent says so far it’s been the busiest in years. 

“Travel is on the rebound, I’m happy to say!” said John Fontaine, owner of Tropical Destination Vacations

Fontaine says business is up 150%. Rising fuel costs and high inflation aren’t stopping the travel bug. 

“People have been so frustrated of being home for such a long extended period, that irrespective of the costs, they are still willing to travel,” said Fontaine. 

Industry experts say supply is tight amid high demand for people wanting to travel. AAA predicts more than 39 million Americans will fly or drive this Memorial Day weekend, even as gas prices hit record levels.

Many top destinations now have fewer pandemic-related restrictions that brought travel to a halt over the last couple of years. 

“Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and internationally, Europe is always popular,” Fontaine said.  

Fontaine said people are booking now to lock in their prices before they go up. Some say they are modifying where they stay – instead of hotels and resorts, many are opting for cheaper rentals through companies like Airbnb. 

Fontaine’s best advice? If you’re looking to get away, book early.