BOISE – If you’re thinking about flying this Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to finalize your travel plans. According to AAA, holiday airfares will cost about $160 more on average than a year ago, with increased travel and higher fuel prices making plane tickets more expensive.
“With the cost of crude oil above $100 per barrel, we’re feeling the effect not just at the pump, but in the price of jet fuel,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “But so far, inflation and higher fuel prices haven’t dampened the enthusiasm to travel over the long weekend.”
Memorial Day reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises and hotels are up 122% over last year.
AAA says that the best time to purchase Memorial Day airfare this year is about two weeks before the holiday, when passengers will pay an average of $445 per ticket. Those who prefer a longer booking window (28 to 60 days in advance) will pay $25 more per ticket. But buyer beware – last-minute flights this year will cost nearly double at around $845 per ticket.
In previous years, the cheapest day to fly on the Memorial Day weekend has been Saturday, but this year, it will be the most expensive, while Sunday will be the most affordable. AAA predicts that Friday will be the busiest travel day for the holiday weekend, and Monday the lightest.
“As always, we encourage travelers to book the first flight in the morning. Throughout the day, the chances of a canceled flight or missed connection tend to increase,” Conde said. “Another option is to fly at off-peak times and on days that are farther from the holiday, which may be possible for those who are able to extend their trip by working remotely from anywhere with Wi-Fi.”
AAA recommends working with a travel agent to remove frustration from the booking process and purchasing travel insurance that specifically covers interruptions due to COVID-19. Travel agents can shop for the best rates and combine hotel, airfare, and rental car reservations into packages for destinations around the world.
This year, the top domestic destinations for Memorial Day are:
- Orlando, FL
- Seattle, WA
- Miami, FL
- Las Vegas, NV
- Anchorage, AK
- Honolulu, HI
- Boston, MA
- Anaheim, CA
- New York, NY
- San Francisco, CA
AAA Four-Diamond Hotels and Restaurants in Idaho
For more than 80 years, AAA inspectors have awarded Diamond Designations based on the level of service and amenities that hotels and restaurants provide. This year’s Four Diamond honorees are:
Grove Hotel Boise (since 2014)
Inn at 500 Capitol (since 2017)
The Coeur d’Alene Resort (since 1986)
Beverly’s Restaurant (since 1989)
Shore Lodge (since 2012)
Sun Valley Lodge & Sun Valley Inn (since 2005)
“There are some amazing upscale experiences right in our own backyard,” Conde said. “Like all hotels and restaurants that AAA inspectors visit, the Four Diamond recipients never know when we will arrive at their location. This award reflects their commitment to everyday excellence.”
In response to the pandemic, AAA expanded its housekeeping evaluation to include scientific testing of the cleanliness of common surfaces throughout hotels. Every hotel must meet the standard of being AAA Inspected Clean before being issued a Diamond Designation. For a complete list of hotels and restaurants in the AAA Diamond program, please visit AAA.com/tourbook or download the AAA mobile app.