Whether you call it revenge travel or cabin fever, many people are ready to travel for Memorial Day weekend after more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns.
An estimated 2.8 million people in the D.C. area will travel over the holiday weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic says. About 2.6 million in this group will travel by car.
This weekend will kick off the summer travel season, and the roads will be congested, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend III said.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
“You’ll see traffic volume we haven’t seen in the area since 2019,” he said.
This Thursday and Friday will be the worst times to be on the road, Townsend said.
AAA says drivers should expect heavy traffic at these times:
- Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
- Friday from 12 to 6 p.m.
- Saturday around midday
- Sunday around midday
- Monday from 12 to 6 p.m.
The Maryland Transportation Authority said your best bet is to use the Bay Bridge early in the morning or late at night.
Make sure your car is road-trip ready by checking the oil and filling the tires. It’s been more than a year that many people have driven their cars less than usual.
“We anticipate a spike in the number of people who will need roadside assistance because they have not properly maintained their car,” Townsend said.
Pack an emergency road side kit, map out pit stops and perhaps gas stations, and check COVID-19 rules related to masks and testing at your destination.