CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- It's the unofficial start of summer, but Memorial Day is also the start of the summer driving seasons and there's a huge spike in the number of cars on the road.

That's why AAA is out with its list of things to know when driving this weekend.

AAA predicts nearly 1.2 million Virginians will be traveling a distance of 50 miles or more this holiday weekend. Morgan Dean with AAA says that's nearly four percent higher than last year.

With that many people on the road, Dean says there are ways to manage travel.

"The only one bigger than that was back in 2005 when we saw 1.24 million people travel," he says.

Nearly 9 out of every 10 holiday travelers in the Virginia will be hitting the roads for the unofficial start to the summer.  Dean says this amount is similar to the number of travelers who drove to their destinations for Memorial Day Weekend in the pre-pandemic days of 2019.

"Really since then, we've been in these build-back years. But, what we've really seen last year and then even more so into this year, was not just getting back to 2019 numbers, but in a lot of cases, actually getting past those numbers and being some of the biggest numbers that we've ever seen for some of these holidays," he says.

With a lot of people on the road, Dean encourages people to drive at specific times. He says the busiest days on the road are Thursday and Friday.

"Those two days are the days where people are trying to get that jump and get out of town and get to their destinations. If you can leave early in the morning those days or after 7 or 8 pm, you're in better shape," says Dean.

Dean says air travel is predicted to set another new Memorial Day Holiday record for Virginia.

"We're looking at 102,000 passengers flying which is 7% higher than in 2019 and 4% higher than what we saw last year," he says.

Another nearly 35,000 Virginians are predicted to travel by bus, rail, or cruise ship over the long holiday weekend.