AAA doesn’t expect high Memorial Day weekend travel
For many families, it's a yearly tradition to load up the car and head to a far-off destination on Memorial Day weekend.
But this year is like no other, and there will be most likely less people on roadways.
It's the first time in 20 years that AAA has not released a travel projection for the holiday weekend.
According to a AAA survey earlier this year, 90% of the 173 million Americans who had summer vacations on the books planned to take a U.S.-based vacation.
AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair told News 12 that there is a lot of pent up demand right now to get out — even if it means staying somewhat close to home.
Staying close to home could be good news for some business owners on the East End, like Tora Matsuoka, co-owner of Sen Japanese Restaurant in Sag Harbor.
"We're really hoping the concept of the staycation is something that people are interested in," says Matsuoka.
Right now, the food spot is only serving takeout and delivery -- but they also offer in-home sushi classes on Zoom.
"We deliver to your home all the ingredients that you would need to make your own sushi as well as bottles of sake," says Matsuoka. "You get on a Zoom call with one of our managers and they walk you through exactly how to make it."
But with so many attractions still closed, or with strict capacity limits, he says anyone thinking about hitting the road needs to do their homework before leaving.
"They'll have to do some research about where they want to go and whether or not there are any restrictions in place," he says. "We know there are a lot of parks open, some are not, beaches are open, some are not…Those that are open might have capacity limits."
The limitations on this weekend are also putting a halt on events that honor the true meaning of the holiday. Flag placements will not go on at Calverton or Long Island national cemeteries.
Flag placements will go on, albeit differently, at smaller Long Island cemeteries.
"We need to do something, it's the day to do it, it's the weekend to do it," says Calverton Flag Placement Committee Chairman Frank Bailey. "Memorial Day is about the guys that gave up their lives or passed on. It's about honoring the deceased veterans."