As the long weekend begins, here are some highlights of what to expect.
One of the busiest weekends for travel, the Memorial Day holiday is known as the start of the summer season. Despite gas prices averaging close to $3 a gallon, more people are expected to travel this year than last year. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re hitting the road this weekend.
What’s the traffic going to be like?
According to AAA, over 41.5 million Americans are planning to travel this weekend, a 5% increase compared to last year and the most since 2014.
“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”
If you’re planning to drive to your vacation destination or just to meet a flight, keep an eye on areas known for traffic backups. 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.
What’s the weather going to be like?
The forecast for the holiday weekend is currently looking a bit rainy in the East, South and West, with the Plains and Southwest seeing more summer-type weather with warm temperatures and sunny skies. Make sure that you’re packing appropriately for your destination since the weather might vary from your home base.
According to Weather.com, “[a] surge of tropical moisture will lead to periods of rain and thunderstorms across Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast regardless of whether a tropical or subtropical depression or storm develops in the Gulf. Some of that moisture will also reach the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend, bringing some wet periods to those regions, as well.” This forecast is subject to change, so make sure to get an update before you leave.
Take time to 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.