10 Worst Travel Days of the Year

Whether you’re traveling by car or by plane, there are some days when you should avoid heading out and about. These are the worst travel days of the year.

Why do so many people get stuck in traffic, in long lines, or have their travel plans canceled at certain times of the year? The simple answer is that these days are when more people travel than at any other time of the year. If you’re thinking about visiting friends and family during the holidays, you might consider going earlier and taking a few extra days off work to avoid these ten terrible travel days.

The Day Before Thanksgiving is Near the Top of the List

Many people have a four-day weekend during Thanksgiving, and it will take one more day, Wednesday, to handle traveling to see family and friends. While this isn’t the worst day to be out on the roads, it’s certainly in the top ten. This day is when the roads get crowded, especially since some schools stopped having classes on this day. The mass of people traveling on this Wednesday might make you want to add one more day to your weekend and travel on Tuesday instead.

Don’t Travel on Fridays in the Summer

Why do so many people travel on Fridays during the Summer? It’s pretty easy to figure out. This is the beginning of their summer vacation, and they want to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Some might be heading home on this day after a week of fun at their favorite destination. Unfortunately, typical summer rentals make these Fridays some of the worst travel days of the year. If you can make it happen, try going in the middle of the week instead of on Friday.

Christmas Day has Become a Bad Travel Day

Winter holidays are difficult for travel because of the potential of winter weather slowing things down, but the massive crowds of people trying to see family and friends for Christmas, puts this holiday near the top of the list. If you can avoid actually traveling on Christmas, you should. Of course, if you can travel sooner or celebrate this holiday a few days later, you can avoid the travel crowds out on the roads.

Local Travel is Usually Difficult on July 4th

Most towns hold impressive fireworks displays on July 4th, which creates a local gridlock that you might not see at any other time of the year. This is a holiday that sits right in the middle of peak travel time for holiday vacationers. If you want to avoid going out on one of the worst travel days of the year, you’ll want to have a cookout in your backyard with some neighborhood fireworks that keep you home and allow you to avoid heavy traffic on the roads.

Memorial Day Starts the Summer Travel Extravaganza

Call it what you want, but the Friday-Monday of Memorial Day Weekend can be one of the worst times to be out on the road. If you don’t need to travel during this weekend, don’t. You can easily predict busy airports, congested roadways, busy travel stops, and an increase in car accidents. This is the first holiday after many students get out of school and a weekend when many families begin to head to their summer vacation spot. Pick a different time to travel if you can.

Spring Break Can be Awful Along the Coasts

Spring Break isn’t a set date or week of the year, which is probably a good thing. Regardless of the week, Spring Break has the worst travel days of the year. High school and college-aged students take this time to head to sunny and warm locations along the coastlines to have a week of fun away from the books and classes they’ve been working at all year. Unfortunately, this can also be a great time or a family vacation, which only adds to the mess on the roads.

Don’t Travel on New Year’s Eve

Sure, it can be a lot of fun to head to Times Square in New York for the New Year’s Eve celebration, but you’ll probably only want to do this once in your lifetime, if at all. This is absolutely one of the worst travel days of the year. Many people attend parties to celebrate bringing in the New Year but might end up celebrating this turning of the calendar in the drunk tank at the local police station if they are lucky. If you travel during this day, do so early and stay where you are until New Year’s Day, if you can.

Labor Day is on the List, But Not as Bad As Some Days

Yes, Labor Day does rank as one of the ten worst travel days of the year, but it’s not nearly as bad as some. Most school-aged kids are already back in school before this holiday, which means many families will stay close to home during this three-day weekend. You might see an uptick in holiday traffic in your local area, but this end-of-summer holiday kind of winds things down from the brutality that comes with traveling on Fridays in the summer.

Easter Can be a Tough Holiday for Travelers

Many families try to be together during the Easter holiday, especially those that celebrate Christianity. This is a weekend with increased traffic on the roads and at the airports, which means slower going and a need to arrive much sooner during this holiday. Easter also often coincides with Spring Break for some travelers, which makes this a double hit in the bad travel day category.

Mardi Gras is Super Busy for One Area

Mardi Gras in New Orleans can be described with one word, insane. This is a week-long party in a city full of life and fun. The roads are packed with people, flights are hard to get, and once you get there, the city is filled with drunk drivers and filled hotel rooms. If you do get the chance to enjoy this amazing party, you should but use public transportation or book a room within walking distance of where you’ll party during Mardi Gras.

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