Best Times To Hit The Road For Memorial Day

We’re always looking for ways to avoid traffic, and Memorial Day is a particularly large headache for drivers looking to make it to their destinations without spending much of the long weekend stuck in traffic.

Waze, a free social traffic and navigation app for drivers, offered this traffic infograph to help you determine when best to hit the road for your weekend travels.

Who would have thought that rush hour is actually the best time to travel? (Personally, we’ll be leaving early Saturday!)

Travel Hubs To Avoid For Memorial Day 2012

Holiday travel can be hectic, especially when it comes to transportation. Despite the potential to be a scary experience, AAA statistics show that 34.9 million Americans used plane, train and automobile transportation last Memorial Day. With this year expected to be just as crazy, Foursquare has compiled data from 20 billion users, to let travelers know what the busiest travel hubs are expected to be this Memorial Day.

Top 10 Busiest Airports:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to airports vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2. San Francisco International Airport
3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
4. John F. Kennedy International Airport
5. McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
6. LaGuardia Airport (New York)
7. Denver International Airport
8. Boston Logan International Airport
9. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
10. Newark Liberty International AirportTop 10 Busiest Train Stations:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to train stations vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. New York Penn Station
2. Grand Central Terminal
3. Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
4. Chicago Union Station
5. 30th Street Station (Philadelphia)
6. Long Island Railroad Jamaica Station
7. Newark Penn Station
8. Union Station (Los Angeles)
9. New Jersey Transit Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Station
10. New Haven Union Station

Top 10 Busiest Bus Stations:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to bus stations vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Port Authority Bus Terminal: New York, New York
2. South Station Bus Terminal: Boston, Massachusetts
3. Harbor Pointe and Shuttle Area: Anaheim, California
4. Boltbus Midtown Stop (34th Street and 8th Avenue): New York, New York
5. Megabus NYC Stop (West 31st Street): New York, New York
6. Megabus DC Stop (Union Square Parking): Washington, D.C.
7. Frankford Transportation Center: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8. International District/Chinatown Station: Seattle, Washington
9. Hollywood Studios Bus Stop: Lake Buena Vista, Florida
10. Magic Kingdom Bus Stop: Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Top 10 Busiest Highways:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to highways vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Lincoln Tunnel: New York, New York
2. Bourbon Street: New Orleans, Louisiana
3. Lombard Street: San Francisco, California
4. Rodeo Drive: Beverly Hills, California
5. Huntington Beach: Huntington Beach, California
6. Long Island Expressway: Long Island, New York
7. Holland Tunnel Toll Plaza: Jersey City, New Jersey
8. I-95 on Georgia/South Carolina State Line
9. Brooklyn/Queens Expressway: Brooklyn, New York
10. I-95 on Florida/Georgia State Line

Top 10 Busiest Rest Stops:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to rest stops vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Delaware Welcome Center Travel Plaza: Newark, New Jersey
2. Maryland House Travel Plaza: Aberdeen, Maryland
3. Molly Pitcher Service Area: Cranbury, New Jersey
4. Lake Forest Oasis: Lake Forest, Illinois
5. Cheesequake Rest Area: Sayreville, New Jersey
6. Woodrow Wilson Service Area: Hamilton, New Jersey
7. Chesapeake House Travel Plaza: North East, Maryland
8. Grover Cleveland Service Area: Woodbridge, New Jersey
9. Charlton Service Plaza (Westbound): Charlton, Massachusetts
10. Des Plaines Oasis: Des Plaines, Illinois

Memorial Day road trip plans focus on spending, safety and…Justin Bieber?

When we think of what we need for a road trip, a common list unfolds. A cooler, ice, beverages, snacks, maps and pillows are all normal items we might bring along. We’ll fill up with gas and head out on the highway to get away, even if just for the Memorial Day road trip weekend. This year, some of those items will cost a bit more, some a bit less and there are some new things we might want to consider bringing along.

More than 30 million people nationwide will travel more than 50 miles during Memorial Day weekend, defined as the period from Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30 says AAA, an increase of 0.2 percent.

“In 2010, Memorial Day travel experienced a gain of more than 14 percent,” AAA-Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai told the Washington Post. “Many travelers have told us they’ll compensate for higher fuel costs by cutting back in other areas of spending.”

They’ll pay more too, with gas running just a bit less than $4.00 per gallon, compared to $2.85 this time last year reports TulsaWorld. But while the high price of gas does not appear to be stopping road trip plans, travelers are looking at expenses carefully, saving where they can.

“You’ll see people eating sandwiches out of the cooler instead of going into a restaurant,” Susanne Pelt, spokeswoman for the South of the Border roadside attraction in South Carolina told

In fact, new ways to save money traveling have been gaining in popularity as more people are expected to travel for the Memorial Day holiday than have since the Great Recession. That means more cars on the road, and more opportunities for motor vehicle accidents during what is already a time when safety concerns prompt law enforcement officials to begin a focus on Click it Or Ticket campaigns, handing out traffic citations for those not using seat belts.

A $200 fine does not exactly fit in with the whole money-saving focus but neither does a traffic accident and ignoring seat belt laws are not the only concern. Avoiding texting while driving is a cause that has even teen sensation Justin Bieber teaming up with PhoneGuard, a system that disables texting while driving.

“It is tragic that almost on a daily basis there are reports of deaths and severe injuries caused by drivers who are texting and driving,” Bieber said in a statement. “We need to change the attitudes in our society toward texting and driving and I am making it one of my personal goals to make this happen.”

He’s not alone in his concern either. The Associated Press reports that Texting and Driving has reached epidemic proportions killing one person every 11 minutes in the United States making it four times more dangerous then drinking and driving.

Flickr photo by richardmasoner

Slight uptick predicted in Memorial Day travel

Planning on hitting the road for Memorial Day? So are just under one in four Americans. A new survey from Deloitte predicts that 22% of Americans will travel over Memorial Day, up from the 19% who traveled in 2010.

As for the remainder of the summer months, nearly half (45%) of the survey respondents expect to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day, which is relatively flat compared with those who traveled a year ago (46%). Furthermore, this year nearly one-third (30%) of the expected travelers plan to spend more money on this year’s summer trips than they did last year, while two in five (41%) plan to spend the same amount.

“Although industry data show overall levels of leisure travel are still below levels seen prior to the recession, our latest survey indicates that in 2011, consumers are more willing to spend on summer trips than last year,” said Adam Weissenberg, Deloitte’s U.S. tourism, hospitality and leisure sector leader.

[Flickr via ]

What might prevent people from traveling?

More than one-quarter (27%) cite lingering financial concerns while 18% point to high gas prices – a number that almost doubled from last year’s survey (10%). Higher fuel prices are not only prompting some would-be travelers to cancel their trips, but are also leading almost six out of 10 Memorial Day weekend travelers to modify or scale down their plans to offset the increased gas expense.

Concerns surrounding air travel also have some consumers altering their vacation plans, though most are not canceling plans altogether. Among the 67% of respondents who say they’ve noticed an increase in airline fees, only 14 percent have changed their summer travel destination or canceled their summer flight altogether. Additionally, more than one-quarter (26%) of survey respondents are looking into alternative means of travel other than flying due to higher airfares, additional airline or government fees, and/or security issues at airports.

“With additional costs hitting consumers in the air and at the pump, leisure travelers have no choice but to allocate additional funds towards transportation,” added Weissenberg. “In turn, they are looking to cut costs in other areas by choosing a vacation spot closer to home or curtailing spending on food and local activities.”

What about you – will you be cutting back or hitting the road this Memorial Day?

Favorable fares may be coming to a close

In past years, Memorial Day signaled the end of sweetheart flight prices. This year, a sinking economy stretched the deals a bit longer, but experts say the good times may be coming to a close. Remember the problems last summer, with higher prices blamed on jet fuel? Well, we could see the cost of oil work the same dismal magic this summer.

Rick Seaney, CEO of, cites recent fare increases of $10 to $20 per roundtrip as an indicator that we are the brink of an upswing. But, these are counterbalanced by new lows elsewhere. A recent survey by Travelocity shows ticket prices down 17 percent for trips between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So, buyers and sellers are locked in a silent struggle to determine how much your next vacation will cost.

With an eye out for possible deals, customers are waiting, booking their flights 86 days ahead instead of the usual 90. While this doesn’t seem like much, it takes a lot of last minute purchases to bring the average down.

Even if airline fares are coming back, you can still take advantage of the lows now. If you’re thinking about taking a vacation, stop … and take action instead.