(NBC) – Get ready for busier roads, skies and grill time this Memorial Day. Triple A projects 32.1 million Americans will travel this holiday.
For the first time in five years, more Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend.
A nearly five and a half percent spike from last year alone, when tighter budgets trumped the traditional holiday getaway
"I think it's better than last year. Things are improving last year. So I think we're more willing to, we didn't go anywhere last year," said traveler Linda Betheil.
And this year, travelers are planning ahead.
"AAA travel agents are reporting double-digit increases in the percentage of travelers making advanced reservations for tours, vacations and cruises," said AAA's Glen MacDonell.
The majority of travelers, 87 percent, will hit the road and even though gas prices are higher than a year ago, they are still below the record high in 2008.
Air travel will also be up slightly. Don't expect airlines to add flights. Instead, there will be a premium on available seats and price.
"You can usually find a flight but you're going to pay out the nose for it," said traveler Kristen Artines.
The one factor that could spoil plans for travelers is the Gulf oil spill and its impact on popular vacation spots like New Orleans and Florida beaches.
"A lot of people have asked us that have made vacation plans and a lot of them want to cancel because of what they hear," said Michelle Ryan of the Venice, Florida Chamber Of Commerce.
Community leaders in the sunshine state are working to keep rumors of the spill from spreading.
"We're open for business. The seafood is coming in on a daily basis, it's fresh, the rooms are available and our beaches are open for business, we're not impacted," said St. Petersburg, Florida Mayor Bill Foster.