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What’s the best time to travel over Memorial Day Weekend?


According to the annual AAA Memorial Day Travel Forecast, 2019 could see the second-highest number of holiday travelers on record.

Almost 43 million Americans will be skipping town for a weekend getaway, with over 1.6 million in Ohio alone. This number counts people who plan to travel more than 50 miles between Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27.

Most of these travelers – 37.6 million – will be on the roads, and even those using other forms of transportation will probably be driving or ridesharing to the airport, bus station, or marina.

Drive times are expected to be up to three times longer than normal in some areas, and gas prices will likely be higher around the holiday weekend too.

The best time to travel over Memorial Day Weekend

As USA Today puts it, the best time to leave for Memorial Day travel was last week.

Avoiding traffic will be tricky regardless of when you hit the road, and even the most minor accidents and car problems will have the potential to create big delays.

According to a 2017 analysis by Waze, the worst times to drive during the holiday weekend are:

  • 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday
  • 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
  • 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday

Use navigation apps to check the road conditions and construction zones along your route before you leave. If you’re riding with a passenger, ask them to keep an eye on the apps for any car accidents or delays and help you find a detour if one is available.

When it comes to staying safe on the roads during the holiday weekend, a few simple precautions can go a long way:

  • Plan ahead and try to avoid high-traffic times.
  • Buckle up, and make sure your passengers do too.
  • Stay calm and be patient if/when you hit traffic.
  • Don’t use your phone behind the wheel.
  • Never drive if you’ve been drinking or are impaired in any way.

Wishing you a safe and fun holiday weekend on behalf of all of us at Elk & Elk!

How will you be kicking off summer vacation season? Tell us about your Memorial Day plans in the comments!