Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Travel: Californians Brace for Record-High Gas Prices, Air Travel

NBC Universal, Inc.

As Memorial Day getaways begin, millions of Californians taking to the roads and skies.

But this year, the three-day getaway may cost you more than ever before.

Cupertino resident Haydee Santiago told NBC Bay Area Friday and she and her children were heading to Disneyland in Southern California. Santiago filled up gas at a San Jose gas station, which cost her almost $130.

“The gas prices, honestly, does affect ‘going on vacation’ but we’ve been planning this ‘pre’ ahead .. so we should be fine,” she said.

According to AAA, 5 million Californians will be traveling this holiday weekend, an 11% jump from last year, including more than half a million people will travel by air.

The holiday weekend traffic made for a hectic day at San Jose International Airport. According to officials it was nothing like the 100,000 travelers on this day in pre-pandemic 2019.

“We are not seeing quite as many passengers as we saw back in 2019, which was our peak, but we are seeing very strong numbers. Today, being the busiest day over the Memorial Day holiday travel season,” said SJC Information Manager Keonnis Taylor.

San Jose resident Namitha Vellian told NBC Bay Area that the crowds aren’t the problem, it’s the cost of airfare, which nationally is up 6%.

“It’s been fine but definitely the prices have been going up so much, that it’s just, honestly, kind of ridiculous,” Vellian said.

The other problem, especially for motorists, the higher costs are waiting at their destination.

“The gas prices are really expensive. With gas prices going up is what we could’ve been using on the trip.,” Santiago said.

Despite the prices, many people are certainly willing to put up with cost and traffic to take off on this post pandemic holiday.

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