PORTLAND, Ore. — You can blame COVID-19 for the urge to get out and leave town over the first long weekend of spring and summer.  Oregon AAA estimates some 485,000 of us will travel, headed to destinations like the Utah national parks, Central Oregon, Northern California and of course the beaches.

This is a big rebound overall.  37 million Americans have planned a trip over Memorial Day.  That’s 11% of the population.  Travel by car is most popular.  Drivers will take a longer trip.  Traffic started picking up with the afternoon commute on Thursday.  Freeways are expected to be jammed again on Friday afternoon.

Air travel nationally is up 577%.  The Port of Portland indicates those big numbers don’t exist here because kids are still in school for a few more weeks.  Students are already out for the summer on the East Coast.  Through Monday, PDX could see between 38,000 and 41,000 passengers per day.  Two years ago pre-pandemic, the daily passenger count for the same weekend was nearly 60,000.  Popular flying destinations include Hawaii and Alaska… anywhere where there’s a lot of space.

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