The 5 Worst Traveling Days in the United States

Train traveling on track with blue sky, ocean water and green treesThere was a time when travel, specifically hitting the skies, was reserved for the well-to-do. As increased demand from consumers led to greater supply, the need for amassed riches in order to get out of dodge tone down drastically. However, traveling by land, sky, or sea comes with other impediments above and beyond the cost considerations alone. During certain times of the year, traveling from one destination to the next involves overcrowded airports, delayed flights, traffic on the highways, and millions of grumpy passengers no matter which direction you’re headed. To help maintain your love for travel, or just your sanity during the trip, it’s beneficial to be aware of the five worst traveling days in the United States – and avoid them like the plague.

The Holiday Season

1 & 2 – Before and After Christmas

In a recent report published by AAA, nearly 108 million Americans will be traveling during the 2017 holiday season. That astonishing figure includes those getting around by plane, train, and car throughout the last two weeks of the year. Because of the prevalence of traveling over the holidays, two days before and the day after Christmas hold steady as the top two worst travel days of the year, every year. The problem lies in the rapid increase in the number of people at the airport, the train station, and the freeway, all at the same time. It causes delays in what would otherwise be ‘normal’ traffic and flow, slowing everyone down and causing a less than cheerful scene in most major hubs around the country. The excess demand also pushes prices up, from gas for the car to a window seat on the plane.

3 – New Year’s Day (2018)

While right before and after Christmas top the list for worst travel days, New Year’s is a close third. This season, New Year’s Day falls on a Monday, and it is likely millions of travelers will be headed back home from holiday getaways on the first of the year. While New Year’s Day is traditionally less hectic than Christmas, it still represents one of the most congested travel days of the year. Travelers can avoid the mess and frustration of this frequently traveled day by waiting until the 2nd or 3rd of January to travel back home.

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The Summer

4 – 4th of July

In addition to the bustling holiday season, American travelers find an uncomfortable number of companions on the road and in the skies during big summer holidays. Fourth on the list is Independence Day, followed closely by Labor Day weekend. On July 4th, the airports and train stations are less congested than other major US holidays, but the roads are a packed to the brim. Short trips to see fireworks, visit friends and family for a BBQ-infused get together, and visits to national monuments or places of historical value all add up to a traffic-laden scene.

5 – Labor Day

Labor Day weekend in September each year closes out the list of the five worst travel days for Americans, because it is seen as the last hoorah for families with children in school. Before the business of the school year kicks off, parents plan family vacations often ending on Labor Day weekend. Traffic on the roads coming back from the countless beaches across the country combined with an increased number of groups of three or more flying home make for a busy, typically delayed travel day.

Traveling is no longer an unreachable luxury for Americans, but thanks to more affordable ways to get from place to place, more individuals and families are taking advantage. You can avoid some of the headaches of the busiest travel days of the year by planning your next trip well in advance, and shift your dates to bypass the worst days.

Posted on December 28, 2017 by in Personal Finance

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