Memorial Day Weekend Outlook

Memorial Day to be one of the busiest travel weekends this summer; demand, jet fuel and seasonality drive prices above 2019 levels

Hayley Berg - May. 17, 2022

Summary

  • Domestic Airfare this Memorial Day will average Americans $394 round trip, a 28% increase compared to the same weekend in 2019. International airfare will cost Americans $917, up +2% compared to 2019. 

  • Expected Traffic: More than 12.4 million travelers are expected to fly between Thursday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend, averaging ~2.5MM travelers per day.

  • Accommodations at hotels this Memorial Day will average Americans $163/night, up more than 30% compared to the holiday weekend last year. Home rentals are also popular for travelers looking to getaway over the long weekend, and will average $254/night. Whether they’re staying at a hotel or in a rental home, most travelers are looking for accommodations which have a pool to enjoy over the weekend. 

  • Rental car rates this Memorial Day will average Americans $61 per day. With surging prices at the pump, renters can expect to pay an additional $1.26 per gallon for fuel compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2019. 

  • Trending destinations for Memorial Day weekend include smaller vacation towns like Aspen, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. With Aspen opening mountains for summer sports and Nantucket hosting the annual Figawi sailing race, travelers are looking to get outside and start enjoying summer activities. Trending destinations outside the US include bucket list island getaways to Bora Bora, Bali and Fiji!


Airfare +30% for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is one of the most popular long weekends for travel, and kicks off the heavy summer travel period. This year, airfare for Memorial Day weekend is up 28% compared to 2019, with average domestic airfare totaling $394 round trip.

Avgavg

Round trip good deal airfare for Memorial Day weekend travel in 2019 compared to 2022. 

International airfare will cost Americans $917, up 2% compared to 2019. Airfare to regional destinations in Mexico, Central America, Antilles and Canada are more expensive than in 2019, but offer lower overall prices compared to long haul trips to destinations in Europe.

airfare

Americans visiting domestic destinations over the holiday are making a long weekend of it, with most travelers staying for 4 days at their destination. International travelers are taking advantage of the shorter holiday week and spending an average of 10 days at their destination. 

How to save on Memorial Day Weekend Airfare

Be Flexible! 

Many Americans will travel the Thursday before Memorial Day to make it a long weekend, but the best deals will be for trips departing on Saturday, with prices averaging 7% or ~$30 lower than departing on Thursday. If travel dates are flexible, booking return trips to fly out on Wednesday or Thursday after the holiday can save travelers 16% off peak prices, or as much as $70 per round trip ticket. 

Average

Consider alternate destinations

There are still great deals available for last minute Memorial Day weekend getaways.  Consider one of these destinations for your long weekend getaway, and grab a great deal before they sell out! 

hot

Book ASAP

Airfare for Memorial Day weekend is rising quickly as the long weekend approaches. Book your memorial day weekend airfare now to get the best deals, as prices usually increase by as much as 54% in the last two weeks ahead of the holiday weekend. 

If you’re booking last minute, use Hopper’s suite of fintech products to help you take advantage of great deals. 

  • See a great hotel or flight deal but not ready to book? Hold the price of your flight or hotel with Hopper’s Price Freeze, then come back to book later without worrying about missing out on a great deal. This is a great way to capitalize on any last minute price drops, while giving yourself time to finalize plans.

  • If plans aren’t finalized but you see a great flight deal, book with Hopper’s Cancel for Any Reason Plan. If plans change, or you decide not to take your weekend trip, cancel right in the app up until check-in - you’ll get 100% of your room cost back!

  • Hopper’s Leave For Any Reason plan is great for travelers booking last minute hotels. Grab a great hotel deal when you see it and if you arrive at the hotel and don’t like the room or property, book a new hotel of the same star level immediately in the app, at no extra cost. 

Expected Passenger Traffic

Airports will be packed this Memorial Day weekend, with more than 12.4 million travelers expected to fly between Thursday and Monday of MDW. Travelers can expect long lines at security and packed airports, especially if they are departing between the peak hours of 7am and 10am or flying on Thursday or Friday before the long weekend. 

outbound

The busiest airports this holiday weekend will be Atlanta with over 700K passengers departing, Los Angeles with over 500K passengers, and Dallas with about ~500K passengers departing between Thursday and Memorial Day Monday.

busiest

Expected outbound traffic for May 26th through May 30th, 2022. 

Based on airline scheduled seat capacity from OAG as of May 3rd, 2022. Busiest time to depart based on Friday, May 27th.

Trending Destinations

We use our search traffic data to track the rate of increase in searches for a destination in recent weeks. We rank cities by their rate of increase in search volume relative to regular seasonality, and relative to other destinations. This does not necessarily represent what’s most popular with travelers, but rather what’s becoming more popular the quickest.

trending

Stays: Hotels and Rental Homes

For travelers staying at a hotel over Memorial Day Weekend, rates will average $163/night over the long weekend, up over 30% compared to this time in 2019. Travelers looking to stay at hotels over this MDW have leisure and relaxation on their mind, with most searching for hotels offering amenities like free breakfast, indoor and outdoor pools and onsite bars and lounges. 

For travelers staying at rental homes over Memorial Day Weekend, rates will average $254/night over the long weekend. Most travelers are planning to stay 3 days at their rental home and are specifically looking for stays with access to a pool. 

To save on MDW stays, try checking in on Thursday and leaving on Sunday, instead of the typical Friday to Monday long weekend. Shifting travel dates by one day can save you 10% ($15 per night) off your hotel stay, or 6% ($20 per night) off your rental home. 

trending

Trending destinations for hotel stays over Memorial Day weekend 2022.

Rental Cars

Car rentals for this holiday weekend will cost $61 per day on average, and current gas prices are averaging $4.18 per gallon. With fuel costs up >45% compared to this time in 2019, renters will be paying on average $1.26 more per gallon to fuel up their rental this Memorial Day weekend. 

If you’re planning to rent a car over Memorial Day weekend, be sure to book early! With lower supply of rental cars this summer, it may be harder to book last minute rentals ahead of your long weekend getaway. Hopper recommends you book your car rental when you book your flight, or at least 2-3 weeks ahead of Memorial Day weekend to ensure you get a good deal, and there is a car available for you to rent!

rental

Get the Hopper app to find the best deals.
You could save up to 40% on your next flight!