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Friday, 24 May 2019 16:15

Memorial Day travel set to break records Featured

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STATEWIDE - Millions of people are expected to travel through New England this holiday weekend, and officials are warning drivers it could take twice or three times as long to travel compared to a normal day.


While the weather may not have been ideal for the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, that's not going to stop people from coming to "Vacationland".


Officials with AAA (American Automobile Association) said thanks to a strong job market, this Memorial Day weekend is expected to break records, with 43 million people predicted to travel around the country.


"People have a lot more disposable income than they had in the past, and they seem to be spending it more on traveling and spending time with their families," said Christopher Hill, a AAA spokesperson at their Bangor office.


AAA officials said while gas prices have been climbing in recent months, they're still lower now than they were at this time last year.


Close to two million people are expected to hit the road in New England.


And with the arrival of out-of-state drivers, they're advising Mainers to leave early, have an emergency kit in your car, and be patient.


"Things to keep in mind - it takes a minimum of three to four seconds to stop your vehicle in ideal driving conditions, with congested roadways they're going to be tight...patience is key. You're packing your clothes, you're packing your sunscreen, pack patience," said Hill.


For those flying this holiday weekend, Bangor International Airport officials said they're expecting 1,500 people to come through their gates a day.


While that's a little busier than normal, officials said they're more likely to see less seasoned travelers over holidays, and are reminding people to arrive two hours before departure and check in with TSA guidelines to see what can and cannot be packed.


"Just get here early. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, park your car, get checked in," said Tony Caruso, the airport's director. "Download the airline's app, that kind of gives you those updates whether things or on time or whether they might be delayed or not."


Some our news team spoke with at the airport decided to visit Acadia before the summer rush.


"Everybody seems to be coming in this weekend so we were glad to get ahead of the crowd," said Dena Lee, visiting this past week from Virginia.


And she reminded us that Vacationland continues to live up to it's name.


"I think it's a beautiful state and the people were very cordial and friendly and we had a great time," said Lee.


Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...