It's been almost two years now since Illinoisans and the rest of the country looked at Memorial Day Weekend as an opportunity to take a long weekend trip, but with COVID-19 numbers going the right way for the most part, plans to hit the road are being made.

The last time that 2 million Illinois residents decided to take that long Memorial Day Weekend family trip was back in 2019. We're all aware of the problems travelers had to face in 2020, and the numbers show that many people decided to postpone a road trip until the pandemic began to show signs of slowing down and/or being contained.

The signs they've been looking for have apparently arrived. Vaccination numbers keep going up, while the infection and mortality rates are (in many places) heading in the other direction.

According to a report from AAA Chicago, it's not just Illinoisans who are itching to get back out to do some travelling, it's pretty much the entire country. AAA Chicago says that they expect about 37 million people to travel 50 miles or more between May 27th and May 31st. That’s a 60% increase from last year, when only 23 million traveled.

While the country as a whole may be looking at a 60% increase in travel over last year's numbers, Illinois isn't far off from the rest of the United States. AAA Chicago expects Illinois' travel numbers to jump up nearly 57 percent, with almost 2 million of our residents planning to get out and go. Last year at this time, only a little over 1 million Illinoisans had those sorts of plans.

What is our preferred method of transportation on a Memorial Day Weekend trip? It's almost entirely by automobile. AAA Chicago predicts that 1.7 million Illinois residents will travel by car, with about 80,000 travelling by air, and approximately 11,000 people going by train, bus, or boat.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.