43 million Americans will hit the road this Memorial Day Weekend. Here are the most crowded times to avoid.

  • 43 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day Weekend, AAA says.
  • It could be the highest travel volume since 2005, the group estimates, despite gas prices reaching close to $US3 per gallon.
  • These are the travel times to avoid if you don’t want to sit in traffic, based on data from INRIX.

This Memorial Day Weekend will be the busiest in more than a decade, AAA is warning motorists ahead of the holiday weekend.

43 million Americans are expected to hit the road for the inaugural summer weekend, the most since 2005, making travel a headache in some areas, the organisation is warning. That’s despite average gas prices spiking to nearly $US3 per gallon.

“Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend,” Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel, said in a press release. “Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritise spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day.”

In some cities, the best time to leave to avoid traffic was on Thursday. But for those stuck working a full week, you can still dodge soul-crushing traffic by avoiding the busiest times. In most places, that means not leaving until after the traditional rush hour on Friday.

Not headed out of town? The navigation app Waze says gyms, theatres, and other performing arts venues see massive decreases in traffic during the holiday Monday compared to usual weekdays. Beaches, cemeteries, and movie theatres on the other hand, tend to be much more crowded.

Here’s when to avoid travelling, based on your city, according to data from AAA and INRIX:


Atlanta

Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

Worst day for travel: Thursday, May 23

Worst time for travel: 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 2.2x


Boston

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Worst day for travel: Monday, May 27

Worst time for travel: 3:45 – 5:45 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 3.0x


Chicago

Worst day for travel: Friday, May 24

Worst time for travel: 3:30 – 5:30 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 1.6x


Detroit

Worst day for travel: Friday, May 24

Worst time for travel:2:30 – 4:30 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 1.7x


Houston

Stan Honda/Getty Images

Worst day for travel: Sunday, May 26

Worst time for travel: 2:15 – 4:15 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 1.0x


Los Angeles

Worst day for travel: Friday, May 24

Worst time for travel: 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 1.0x


New York

Worst day for travel: Thursday, May 23

Worst time for travel: 4:45 – 6:45 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 2.0x


San Francisco

MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Worst day for travel: Saturday, May 25

Worst time for travel: 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 1.6x


Washington D.C.

Worst day for travel: Monday, May 27

Worst time for travel: 3:45 – 5:45 PM

Delay multiplier of normal trip: 3.0x

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