Memorial Day weekend travel expected to be 60% higher than 2020

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) With restrictions going away and a long weekend finally kicking off, it seems like people just can’t wait to get out on the road again.

“We’ve got a cooler, we’ve got some snacks and a couple of energy drinks and you know things to make sure we don’t get too hungry along the way,” Scott Akers of West Hatfield told 22News at a gas station off of I-91.

He’s filling up before his big Memorial Day weekend trip: a wedding in New York. He liked to travel before the pandemic. However, one thing on his packing list that wasn’t before: his vaccine card.

With full vaccination rates at 50 percent in both Berkshire and Franklin County and 45 percent in Hampshire County, Scott said he feels a little bit safer as they head out on the open road, especially now that he’s fully vaccinated.

“Nice to have my mask off,” said Scott. “I haven’t done anything or gone anywhere other than to work for over a year now so this is the first thing literally that I’ve done.”

Scott is one of the 37 million people AAA estimates will travel 50 miles or more between Thursday and Monday. That’s a 60 percent jump from last year, but it’s still 6 million fewer travelers than in 2019.

Among those not traveling this weekend, Mark Bonde from Easthampton.

“I am staying home and working in the garden if the rain doesn’t affect that,” Bonde said. Adding he’s still waiting for his whole family to get their vaccines, “I’m going to wear my mask and stay at home until everyone is vaccinated.”

Meantime, State Senator Julian Cyr from Cape said some businesses that can open starting Saturday like clubs may ask to see vaccination cards to get in.

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