Memorial Day Weekend is synonymous with the start of the summer season, barbecues, parades, and, of course, travel. This year, travel predictions suggest a record-breaking volume of holidaymakers. So, how can you enjoy your Memorial Day getaway while avoiding the bustling crowds? Here are some tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your holiday weekend while dodging the heaviest traffic.
Plan Ahead and Book Early
One of the most effective ways to avoid the crush is to plan your trip well in advance. Not only does this let you secure better deals on flights and accommodation, but it also allows you to book your activities ahead of time. Whether you’re planning a city tour, a museum visit, or an outdoor adventure, early booking guarantees you a spot and often at a lower price.
Here are some platforms where you can book your activities ahead of time:
Viator (affiliate link): Viator is a TripAdvisor company that offers a vast selection of tours and activities worldwide. Whether you’re looking for a guided city tour or an adrenaline-filled outdoor adventure, Viator has you covered.
GetYourGuide (affiliate link): GetYourGuide offers a comprehensive array of experiences, from skip-the-line tickets to top attractions to unique local experiences.
Booking.com (affiliate link): Besides hotel bookings, Booking.com offers a variety of experiences and attractions. You can plan your entire trip – accommodation, car rentals, and activities – all in one place.
Travel During Off-Peak Hours
If you’re driving or flying, the AAA says that timing is key. To avoid the bulk of the crowd, consider traveling during off-peak hours. Early morning flights are less likely to be delayed, and roads are usually less congested early in the morning or late at night. Here’s a handy breakdown:
|Transportation Mode||Peak Hours||Off-Peak Hours|
|Air Travel||Friday before Memorial Day, Sunday after Memorial Day||Early morning or late night|
|Road Travel||Friday afternoon, Thursday afternoon, Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon||Early morning or late night|
The busiest road traffic is predicted for Friday afternoon, but the afternoons of Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday will also see high volume. Similarly, airports are typically crowded on the Friday before and the Sunday after Memorial Day.
By choosing off-peak hours for your journey, you can avoid the major rush and potentially reduce your travel stress. So, consider setting that alarm a bit earlier or planning for a late-night drive to enjoy a smoother start to your Memorial Day Weekend.
And remember, it’s not just about the journey – your destination could be crowded too. Booking your activities in advance can ensure you don’t miss out due to capacity limits or inflated prices.
Plan ahead, book early, and travel smart to make the most of your Memorial Day Weekend!
Choose Less Popular Destinations for the Memorial Day Weekend
While it might be tempting to head to major tourist hotspots like New York City or Orlando, there’s a whole world (or at least a whole country) out there to explore. Here are some less crowded alternatives, tailored to all types of travelers:
🚴♀️ For the Adventurous: Try Boise, Idaho. What’s that? You thought potatoes were the only thing Idaho had to offer? Wrong! With miles of biking and hiking trails and white-water rafting on the Boise River, you’ll get your adrenaline rush without bumping elbows with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
🎨 For the Artsy: Head to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Forget NYC; this gem is the country’s third-largest art market! Get lost in the vibrant art scene and enjoy the unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. Plus, fewer people means more room to ponder the meaning of that abstract painting.
🏖️ For the Beach Bums on a Budget: Check out Gulf Shores, Alabama. Sure, it’s not Miami, but your wallet will thank you. White sandy beaches, clear waters, and smaller crowds… need we say more?
🌲 For the Nature Lovers: Traverse City, Michigan. It’s called the “Cherry Capital of the World,” but that’s not all it has to offer. Lush forests, sparkling lakes, and peace and quiet. And, let’s be honest, isn’t peace and quiet the ultimate luxury?
🍔 For the Foodies: Visit Omaha, Nebraska. Yes, you read that right. Omaha. With a burgeoning food scene, you can enjoy gourmet experiences without the gourmet crowds. Plus, the steaks are legendary.
👽 For the Extra-terrestrials: Roswell, New Mexico. If you’re looking for something really out of this world, why not the UFO capital of the world? Just watch out for any suspiciously friendly green locals!
So, whether you’re looking for adventure, culture, beach relaxation, nature, food, or even aliens, there’s a less crowded destination waiting for you. Remember, the road less traveled often leads to unforgettable experiences (and fewer traffic jams!).
And, as always, no matter where you decide to go, book your activities in advance to avoid disappointment:
Happy traveling! 🌍🚗✈️🚀👽
Utilize Mobile Apps
Numerous mobile apps can help you navigate your way around crowds. Apps like Waze offer real-time traffic information, helping you avoid congested routes. Similarly, flight tracking apps can alert you to delays or cancellations, allowing you to react promptly and avoid unnecessary airport waiting time.
By planning ahead, booking early, and making smart travel decisions, you can enjoy a relaxing, crowd-free Memorial Day Weekend. Remember, the key is to be flexible and prepared. Safe travels!