CLEVELAND (WJW) – Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff to the summer season where travel is expected to boom to pre-pandemic levels.

That’s why representatives from AAA, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport gathered to provide an essential update on what to expect.

More than 42 million Americans are expected to pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles to visit family and friends this weekend, according to AAA. That includes more than a million people in Ohio.

“We’re expecting this to be the third-biggest Memorial Day for travel on record since we began tracking it in 2000,” AAA East Central Director of Public Affairs Jim Garrity said.

A big portion of travelers will be motorists, according to AAA. AAA expects more than 37 million folks to drive to their destinations.

“You wanna leave early,” Garrity said. “You wanna give yourself an extra hour before heading out the door. Because that’s going to put you in a position where worst case scenario, you’re getting to your event a little early.”

The airports are expected to be equally as busy. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Deputy Chief-Marketing and Air Service Development John Hogan said more than 3.2 million travelers will visit Cleveland over the first 100 days of summer.

“We’re increasing our staffing,” Hogan said. “Our partners at the airport, the airline wheelchair pushers, custodial, they’re all getting ready for this very busy season.”

He said the airport will be the busiest during the morning hours from 6-9 a.m., with wait times of at least 30 minutes to pass through TSA.

The holiday weekend also means people will be partying to welcome the summer season, which can lead to more distracted or impaired drivers on the roadways.

OSHP said the stretch between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day weekend is the 100 deadliest days of summer.

Last year there were 372 fatal crashes resulting in 402 fatalities. To cut down on those numbers OSHP will be beefing up patrols.

“Motorists should expect to see an increased presence of troopers throughout the state over the next several months to discourage dangerous driving behaviors such as driving impaired, driving without a safety belt, distracted driving and speeding in an effort to reduce fatal crashes,” LT. Pablo Cruz said.

OSHP said it made more than 4,600 OVI arrests from Memorial Day to Labor Day, serving as a strict reminder that if you don’t drive sober, you will be pulled over.

“Let’s get to our destination safely, the overall goal is saving lives, reducing fatal, serious-injury crashes so loved ones can be at home, celebrating these holidays,” Cruz said.

ODOT is also issuing a reminder to drivers to kindly move over one lane for any vehicles with flashing lights, slow their speed through construction zones and limit distractions.