Tens of millions of Americans have hit the highways and taken to the skies ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.
Almost 40 million citizens are expected to travel far-and-wide for this year’s annual holiday, which marks the country’s unofficial start of summer.
With COVID rules relaxing and infection rates plunging, optimistic Americans are finally ready to venture out after being cooped up at home for more than a year.
On Friday, some got a head start on the fun, packing into pools in Las Vegas and thronging onto beaches in Miami.
In Sin City, the Mandalay Bay hotel was full of vacationers, many of whom were spotted splashing about in the pool and topping up their tans on the sun loungers.
Meanwhile, in Miami, there was not a facemask in sight, with revelers ready to party amid the prospect that the pandemic may finally be nearing its end.
LAS VEGAS: Americans are ready to celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend amid the prospect that the pandemic may finally be over. At the Mandalay Bay hotel in Vegas, vacationers got a head start on the holiday weekend
LAS VEGAS: On Friday, some got a head start on the fun, deciding to extend the three-day weekend by an extra day
MIAMI: There was not a facemask in sight, with revelers ready to party as they hit the beach
MIAMI: Bikini clad beauties waded into the water as they relished the warm weather and the sunshine
COCOA BEACH: There was barely any room left on the sand at Cocoa Beach in Florida, as vacationers set up tents and umbrellas for a day at the beach
COCOA BEACH: Americans young and old were seen hitting the sand, with many feeling carefree after receiving their COVID vaccines
MIAMI: Some celebratory citizens in Miami were seen guzzling beer on the beach, as others unpacked their coolers and set up their umbrellas
Some celebratory citizens in Miami were seen guzzling beer on the beach, as others unpacked their coolers and set up their umbrellas.
Crowds spilled out of nearby bars with a party atmosphere pervading the air.
More holidaymakers are expected to arrive in Miami in the coming days.
More than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 plus miles this year, a 60 percent increase over last year when stay-at-home orders forced people to stay home.
At least 2.5 million Americans are also set to take to the skies, with TSA boss Alejandro Mayorkas warning of airport lines for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak stopped many Americans flying last year.
MIAMI: Crowds spilled out of bars as a party atmosphere pervaded the air
MIAMI: More holidaymakers are expected to arrive in Miami in the coming days, with revelers arriving by plane and by car
MIAMI: Many of those who were out and about on Friday had just jetted in to the Sunshine state
MIAMI: Young Americans are eager to party after being cooped up inside for more than a year
SAN DIEGO: One tourist from Arizona was seen taking a surfboard out to the beach with his family
MIAMI: Traffic was heavy as sunseekers poured into Miami on Friday ahead of the long weekend
However, most of those who are traveling will be taking a car, forcing the price of gas to surge to $3.03 per gallon – the highest its been in seven years.
‘You’re dealing with a year’s worth of pent up demand and it’s being unleashed on travel,’ Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson for AAA in Michigan, told WW
‘As Americans anticipate the kickoff to the summer travel season, which would be Memorial Day, we’ve seen an increase in bookings. AAA travel has seen an increase in bookings, online traffic, and booking travel.’
The COVID-19 vaccine – which President Joe Biden said has been administered to more than 50 percent of the country’s adults – is the biggest reason for the expected bump in travel this year, according to Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel.
‘As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,’ Twidale said.
‘This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer, though we must all remember to continue taking important safety precautions.’
NEW YORK CITY: Some Big Apple residents tried to make an early break on Friday afternoon, but traffic was already bumper to bumper
NEW YORK CITY: Heavy traffic continued long into the nigh on Belt Parkway in Brooklyn with residents trying to escape the city
CHICAGO: Traffic was heavy heading out of the Windy City on Friday afternoon
SAN DIEGO: Vacationers are pictured after touching down in the Californian city on Friday
LAS VEGAS: Many travelers in Vegas kept their facemasks on as a precaution as they waited for their luggage after landing
NEW YORK CITY: Last Memorial Day Weekend, JFK was eerily empty. This year, it’s a different story
ORLANDO: On Friday there were long lines in airports that have not been seen since the start of the pandemic
ORLANDO: Officials say more than 2.4 million Americans will take to the skies this weekend
ORLANDO: Travelers check in at a ticket counter at Orlando International Airport before the Memorial Day weekend