AAA expecting record low traffic over Memorial Day weekend

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the first time in two decades, AAA is not forecasting how many people will travel over Memorial Day Weekend, saying COVID-19 is undermining the accuracy of the data.

Still, travel is expected to hit a record low for the holiday weekend.

However, it’s not bringing all travel to a halt.

Kelly Marks and her boyfriend Chuck are camping with some of her family members at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls.

The couple traveled from Wisconsin.

“I was locked in a house for two months, not being able to see any of my family and friends and now that I have the opportunity to do so I’m going to take full advantage of it,” Kelly Marks said.

While the campground is expected to fill up over the weekend, travel overall will be down despite lower gas prices compared to last Memorial Day weekend.

“Normally that would really spike the number of travelers, but it’s just with everything going on I think people are apprehensive and they don’t feel comfortable doing that yet,” AAA South Dakota Public Affairs Director Marilyn Buskohl said.

Last year about 43-million Americans traveled over Memorial Day weekend.

“This year we think if people do feel safe and comfortable traveling that they’ll be traveling closer to home,” Buskohl said.

Heather Cross and her family are camping about 15 miles away from home, but the decision isn’t pandemic-related.

“It was just a nice little getaway and they always have fun things to do for the kids so it was a good way to celebrate after school as well,” Heather Cross said.

Meanwhile, Marks is hundreds of miles from home and ready for the weekend.

“I’ve been out to Sioux Falls numerous times and I love being out here,” Marks said.

Buskohl recommends travelers follow CDC guidelines, which include washing your hands and not touching your face.

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