More than 37 million travelers across the nation, including 882,000 from Washington State, will be hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend for what's essentially the first major holiday since COVID-19 restrictions have eased.

Kelly Just with AAA Washington said travelers are expected to increase by 60% nationwide compared to last year.

"People have had a pent up energy waiting to travel and they are going to unleash it a bit this holiday weekend," laughed Just.

Year over year, air travel will experience the largest increases, with nearly six times as many Washingtonians returning to the skies. AAA says the top five Memorial Day destinations for Washington residents are Las Vegas, Maui, Kona, Honolulu and Phoenix.

The Seattle area will see the biggest backups in Washington, especially along I-5 and I-405. Thursday evening is expected to be the busiest time for traffic the entire extended holiday weekend.

Despite the increases, 2021 will still likely fall short of normal, as six million more people hit the road for Memorial Day weekend in 2019 than what's estimated this year.

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