By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Locals are preparing to kick off the unofficial start of summer with travel plans this weekend. More than 500,000 Philadelphia-area residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more over the Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.

Experts say that’s 3.6% more travelers than last year.

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“Philadelphia-area residents are ready to kick off the Memorial Day weekend with a trip,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “After a long winter and soggy spring, locals are ready to pack up the car, or catch a flight, a bus or a train in order to enjoy the warmer weather.”

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Out of those traveling over the weekend, 90 percent are expected to drive to their destinations.

Experts say the busiest travel days for our area will be Thursday and Friday.

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Almost 43 million Americans are expected to travel this weekend.