Memorial Day is almost here! Since this holiday is often considered the unofficial start of summer, you may be looking forward to spending the weekend on the beach, at a lake or at an amusement park. Unfortunately, everyone else in the United States may have the same plan, so travel this weekend just about guarantees that you’ll have crowds to contend with. Here are a few tips to help you have fun this Memorial Day weekend and avoid mass mayhem at the same time:
- Consider Celebrating a Week Early
If you’re hoping to get away for a three-day weekend, how about doing so the weekend before Memorial Day? Or what about the weekend after? If you can take the day off of work, pull the kids out of school for the day and enjoy crowd-free beaches and resorts. Not only will you save time that you’d likely be spending in traffic on the weekend itself, but you’ll also likely save money on accommodations; many hotels raise their prices for the season starting on Memorial Day weekend. Also, if you wait till the kids are out of school you can make it your official start to summer celebration!
- Rise Before the Sun
If you do decide to head out on Memorial Day weekend, get an early start. Most people will leave their houses after eating breakfast, so starting an hour or two before sunrise should get you several hours of traffic-free driving. Put the kids in the car while still in their pajamas, and you and your spouse will probably even be able to enjoy some time without hearing “are we there yet?” Pack some easily transportable breakfast foods and juice boxes to hand out as they wake up to avoid an urgent stop to ease hunger pangs. Make sure to shop a couple of days before because the grocery store is going to be very full with people shopping for BBQ supplies!
- Skip Popular Attractions
Visiting Walt Disney World or a popular beach on Memorial Day weekend is not my idea of a good time! Instead of heading for the same places that hordes of other travelers will be going, look for out-of-the-way places to spend a relaxing weekend. Research ahead of time to find beaches close to the ones that all of your friends will be going to. Look for a beach without bathroom amenities; this usually means that fewer will flock to that particular location. Instead of heading to an amusement park, consider camping at an out-of-the-way campground (not a busy state park!) and visiting a local playground instead.
Of course, you can always decide to just stay home on Memorial Day: You can camp out, make s’mores, tell spooky stories and stargaze at home in your backyard, and won’t have any crowds to contend with at all!
What are your Memorial Day plans?