If you haven't already hit the road, you already missed the best time to leave, experts say. But, we have the best and worst times to travel this weekend.

Experts believe more New Yorkers than in recent years will be traveling during the unofficial start to summer.

About 39.2 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles this weekend, or Thursday, during Memorial Day Weekend, Triple-A predicts. That's an increase of 3 million people, or 8 percent, compared to last year, despite record-high prices for gas AAA believes



“Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel," AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale said in a press release. “Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months.”

AAA believes 34.9 million Americans will travel by car this weekend, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to 2021.

New York is One Of The Most Popular Travel Destinations

AAA predicts New York City will be one of the most popular travel destinations during Memorial Day Weekend. AAA ranks New York City 6th in its listing of the top 10 top U.S. Memorial Day destinations.

If you're wondering, Orlando, Florida is the expected top destination followed by Seattle, Washington; Miami, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Worst Time To Leave New York State


AAA believes drivers will encounter the longest travel delays before the holiday weekend. The worst times to drive are Thursday and Friday afternoons.

Worst Times To Travel:

  • Thursday: 1-8 p.m.
  • Friday: 12-7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1-6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1-4 p.m.
  • Monday: 1-4p.m.

Best Time To Travel From New York State

The best time to travel is before 6 a.m. on Thursday or after 9 p.m. on Thursday. The other best times to travel are before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on Friday and before 10 am. on Saturday and Sunday, officials say.

When heading back, it's best to leave before 11 a.m. on Monday, according to AAA.

Worst New York Road To Travel This Weekend

Aleksandra Glustsenko

The worst road to travel this weekend in New York State is the Long Island Expressway, according to AAA. AAA predicts I-278 W, Long Island Express to 39th St will be the worst stretch to drive this weekend. The company believes the corridor will see 161 percent more travel than normal on Thursday between 3:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

“Even with a significant increase in gas prices, we expect a large jump in holiday driving compared to the last few years”,  INRIZ Transportation Analyst  Bob Pishue said. “Drivers should expect congestion on major roadways around big cities and popular destinations. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

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