New Hampshire

Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips

The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t be keeping drivers off the road this Memorial Day weekend. In fact, experts are predicting it will be the busiest for travelers in more than a decade.

Forty-two million drivers will hit the road this holiday weekend — 5 percent more than last year.

The spike in drivers comes amid rising gas prices. The national average for a gallon of gas is $2.96. However, paying for expensive gas isn't deterring drivers from a Memorial Day getaway.

MassDOT is encouraging drivers to plan ahead as travel delays may be three times longer than normal. You won’t be lonely on the road with a healthy mix of commuters and holiday travelers. Officials also singled out the Massachusetts Turnpike, advising commuters that traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at exit 11A on I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine.

So the big question — when should you hit the road? It’s best to avoid the times below:

Worst times to leave town according to the experts:

AAA: Thursday (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) with travel delays up to two times longer than normal

Waze: Friday (2 to 4 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Worst times to return from your trip:

Waze: Sunday (Noon to 2 p.m.), Monday (Noon to 2 p.m.), Tuesday (3 to 5 p.m.)

It's important to note these travel predictions are based on traffic from last Memorial Day weekend when the weather was mostly dry.

This year, our meteorologists predict thunderstorms Saturday evening and rain on Sunday and Monday. With those conditions, make sure your tires are inflated and windshield wipers are in good working order to avoid any travel hiccups.

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