Memorial Day Weekend Travel

Memorial Day Weekend Travel

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Memorial Day weekend, known as the unofficial start of the summer season, is one of the busiest weekends for travel. Despite gas prices averaging close to $3 a gallon, a record-breaking number of travelers will be hitting the road. As the long weekend begins, here are some highlights of what to expect.

Americans are Ready to Travel

According to AAA, over 43 million Americans are planning to travel this weekend, a 3.6% increase compared to last year. “Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel. This weekend is predicted to be the second-highest traveled Memorial Day weekend on record. The majority of travelers (37.6 million of them) are planning on driving to their destinations, potentially leading to significant traffic delays.

If you’re planning a road trip to your vacation destination or just driving to meet a flight, keep an eye on areas known for traffic backups. To make sure your trip stays on track, add extra time to reach your destination. You may want to use an app like Google Maps or Waze to find alternative routes before you start your drive.

Worst Times to Drive this Holiday Weekend

AAA partnered with INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, to forecast the worst times to hit the road. Travelers should expect that the most significant amounts of congestion will be on Thursday, May 23rd, and Friday, May 24th. If possible, try to avoid traveling during the early afternoon and rush hour. Roads will be the worst when commuters try to hit the roads early and mix with other travelers creating a mess of holiday travel traffic.

Here are AAA and INRIX’s predictions for the top 10 most congested metro areas this Memorial Day weekend:

  1. Boston
    Worst Time to Travel: Monday, May 27th between 3:45 – 5:45 PM
  2. Washington D.C
    Worst Time to Travel: Monday, May 27th between 3:45 – 5:45 PM
  3. Atlanta
    Worst Time to Travel: Thursday, May 23rd between 4:30 – 6:30 PM
  4. New York
    Worst Time to Travel: Thursday, May 23rd between 4:45 – 6:45 PM
  5. Detroit
    Worst Time to Travel: Friday, May 24th between 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  6. Chicago
    Worst Time to Travel: Friday, May 24th between 3:30 – 5:30 PM
  7. San Francisco
    Worst Time to Travel: Saturday, May 25th between 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  8. Houston
    Worst Time to Travel: Sunday, May 26th between 2:15 – 4:15 PM
  9. Los Angeles
    Worst Time to Travel: Friday, May 24th between 4:30 – 6:30 PM
  10. Seattle
    Worst Time to Travel: Monday, May 27th between 3:30 – 5:30 PM

Learn more about travel insurance for road trips and travel safety tips for road trips.

Weather & Your Memorial Day Weekend Travel Plans

The forecast for the holiday weekend looks like stormy weather may jeopardize plans in the Central United States. The Plains are at the highest risk. After recent tornadoes and flooding, new severe storm weather warnings may create or worsen flooding problems according to AccuWeather’s Tim Kines.

AccuWeather says that an area of high pressure will create record heat in the south, resulting in dry, sunny weather lasting through Memorial Day. This high pressure will force the storms forming in the Central states to be directed over the Great Lakes and the Northeast, creating the possibility for showers and thunderstorms in those regions.

Kines also notes that a dip in the jetstream will keep most of the West Coast unseasonably cool this weekend. Travelers going to or through the Western United States should check the weather before they head out as showers and thunderstorms are likely to pop up over the long weekend.

Bad weather can impact travel insurance – know the details before you go.

Remember Fallen Service Members

Although we’ve focused on the travel-related aspects of the holiday, we’d like to also give some time to the meaning of Memorial Day itself, which honors the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts both past and present.

There are many ways to honor the sacrifices of these service members and their families. Even if your plans don’t include attending a parade or volunteering, you can still share memories in person or virtually, like on PBS.org’s Wall of Remembrance.

Memorial Day Travel
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

2 comments on “Memorial Day Weekend Travel”

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