Memorial Day Weekend Means Traffic & Here's How to Deal

trafficWe're so close to the start of our long Memorial Day weekend, we can almost taste it. Aaaand it tastes like barbecue, beer, and exhaust. Just as Mem Day is famous for its backyard cookouts, it's just as notorious for its traffic. It's been reported that roads will only be slightly busier this year than last, despite the dip in gas prices, but it's still a good idea to prepare to hurry up and wait if you decide to take any main throughway. Over 34 million Americans will travel 50 or more miles from home starting Thursday, May 24 through Monday, May 28. That's a lot of cars.

So! Need some tips for traveling? Here's a list of 5 must-dos if you're looking to stay sane this holiday weekend.

  1. You could always, you know, not leave home. Staying put is a great way to save time and money. No hours spent on the road, no money wasted on gas. Plug in the sprinkler, pass around some Freeze Pops, and viola! It's a magical weekend in your front yard. Crashing a neighbor's party is also acceptable.
  2. Check out the local talent. If the thought of staying at home all weekend gives you cabin fever, hit the Internet and see what you can find happening in your own town. How many of us don't do the "touristy" things near home because we take them for granted? I mean, it took me 20 years to finally visit my town's Civil War museum and old mill. There's gotta be some parks you haven't yet explored or an attraction you've ignored for years -- now's the weekend to check them out.
  3. If you must take a road trip, plan ahead. Hit the pavement at off-peak hours. Not only are there less cars on the road in the wee morning hours, but you're also awake for McDonald's breakfast. Win, win. But if you must drive at peak time, then bring snacks to avoid stops, and hey, if you've got a little one who's potty trained but still young enough to get away with a diaper now and again, throw them in a Pull Up and call it a day. No bathroom breaks needed.
  4. Break the rules in the name of sanity. If you're a no-TV-in-the-car kinda lady, give yourself, and your kids a break this weekend and let those LCD screens do all the entertaining. Time flies when SpongeBob is around.
  5. Remember that life's a journey, not a destination. Take the travel time to have a solid family convo about current events, American Idol, or how the soccer team's doing. Engage with one another before the personal electronic devices suck each and every one of us in. And if you're really adventurous, you could read aloud David Foster Wallace's famous speech, This Is Water, about living consciously and adultly. It pertains to riding bored in cars. Trust.

How do you plan on handling the Memorial Day travel and traffic?


Photo via crabchick/Flickr

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