Memorial Day travel surge at Atlanta airport's international terminal signals a busy summer abroad

The Memorial Day travel period at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been a busy one at the international terminal.

Travel experts say this is just the start of what will be a busy summer abroad.

"With COVID and everything, we did not travel a whole lot. So, now that COVID’s lifted, we're sort of trying to make up for lost time," said Larry Hughes.

Hughes and his family are heading to a beach in Jamaica. It is a trip they have looked forward to.

"Just relax and all you can eat, just everything inclusive," he said. "My wife being waited on. She doesn't have to cook; I think that’s our biggest thing."

The Jefferson resident joins thousands of Americans traveling abroad for Memorial Day.


AAA says travel bookings are up 250% to international destinations for the holiday compared to last year. 

"I think it's good for people to travel in general, you got to get out, get amongst the people and have a good time and explore and figure out what you want to do," said Jason Strickland. 

AAA says European cities are top choices. Travel agents say with COVID no longer top of mind, people want to explore.

"They not only want to go abroad, but they also want to see new stuff, different stuff," said Claire Murdock with AAA. "Go to Antarctica or whatever, just instead of going to the Bahamas or whatever. They want to see new things. They want to explore the world." 

Adventure is now a major focus as folks look to use this summer as a chance to see the world. 

"Traveling is exciting, a lot of people wish to do it," said Robert G. Cleveland Sr.

Travel experts expect international flights to be packed all summer. 

Delta says they have sold 75% of its seats to international destinations for the next few months.