Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer in the US and people love to celebrate with weekends away, road trips and much more.

Travel News - Aerial view of highway interchange in cityscape
US cities will be hit with heavy traffic for Memorial Day weekend.

But all that fun comes at a price, as so many cars hitting the road can mean some major traffic delays. According to AAA, 37.6 million Americans will drive over the weekend and it will be the second-highest travel volume on record since 2000.

Overall, the greatest congestion around the country will be on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. But not all traffic is created equally and some cities will be hit with delays that are three times as long as normal.

AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, have estimated some of the worst times for certain cities. Boston and Washington, DC are expected to see three times the delays on Monday, May 27 between 3:45 and 5:45pm. In Atlanta, Thursday between 4:30 and 6:30pm could bring 2.2 times the traffic delays. New Yorkers can expect their travel time to double on Thursday between 4:45 and 6:45pm. In San Francisco, traffic will be 1.6 times heavier on Saturday from 1 to 3pm.

The top destinations for travellers, based on Advance AAA Travel bookings, are Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, Honolulu and Anaheim. Are you still looking for a last minute getaway? Here are Lonely Planet’s ideas for the Memorial Day weekend.

Explore related stories

SONY DSC
468438285
Getty,  RFE,  Women,  Men,  Sitting,  Scenics,  Majestic,  Awe,  Relaxation,  Passion,  Love,  Adventure,  Nature,  Lifestyles,  Outdoors,  Panoramic,  Horizontal,  Hiking,  Activity,  Married,  Montana,  Flower,  Summer,  Ridge,  Mountain,  Forest,  Landscape,  Lake,  Glacier,  Snow,  Water,  Blond Hair,  Color Image,  Eco Tourism,  Extreme Terrain,  Famous Place,  Grinnell Lake,  Grinnell Point,  Healthy Lifestyle,  Looking At View,  Mount Grinnel,  Mountain Peak,  Mountain Range,  Rocky Mountains,  Tranquil Scene,  Travel Locations,  Two People,  US Glacier National Park,  Wilderness Area,  Young Couple,  blue sky,  Adventure,  Fir,  Hiking,  Lake,  Landscape,  Mountain,  Mountain Range,  Nature,  Outdoors,  Peak,  Person,  Scenery,  Slope,  Tree,  Water,  Wilderness
Young Couple enjoying the view in Glacier National Park in northern Montana
468438285
Eco Tourism, Mount Grinnel, Wilderness Area, Young Couple, Extreme Terrain, Looking At View, Women, Men, Two People, Grinnell Point, Color Image, Sitting, Healthy Lifestyle, Scenics, Rocky Mountains, Majestic, Awe, Relaxation, Passion, Love, Adventure, Tranquil Scene, Famous Place, Nature, Lifestyles, Outdoors, Panoramic, Horizontal, Hiking, Activity, Blond Hair, Married, Montana, Flower, Summer, Mountain Peak, Ridge, Mountain Range, Mountain, Forest, Landscape, US Glacier National Park, Lake, Glacier, Snow, Water, blue sky, Travel Locations, Grinnell Lake

Camping

Both of Montana’s national parks are true treasures. Here’s how to get the most out of them

Jul 15, 2024 • 7 min read