COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The roads throughout central Ohio will be busier this weekend as more than 42.3 million people across the U.S. will be traveling for Memorial Day weekend.

According to AAA, approximately 1.6 million people in central Ohio will travel 50 miles or more for the unofficial start of summer. That number is a 6% increase over the number of travelers in 2022.

AAA estimates 253,484 people will travel this weekend, with most of those travelers – 229,533 — taking to the roads, a 5.6% increase over 2022 drivers. Others, 19,959 of them, will be flying to the weekend destinations, a 13.3% increase over 2022 numbers.

“We are seeing strong consumer confidence despite inflations as a reason more people are planning trips and booking them earlier,” said AAA spokesperson Kara Hitchens.

AAA expects this weekend to be the fourth-busiest Memorial Day weekend in Ohio since 2000. The organization also estimates that this weekend could be the busiest Memorial Day travel weekend in the country’s airports since 2005.

Those taking to the road this weekend could be in for a cheaper trip: gas prices nationwide are lower this holiday compared to last year, AAA said.

AAA estimates the best times to travel this weekend are early in the morning or after 6 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday likely being the lightest travel days.