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How to Survive Holiday Travel? Get Advice From an Expert


John Townsend, manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic, chatted online with readers this afternoon about travel over the July 4th weekend. Here's Townsend's advice on how to beat holiday traffic:

Just wondering: So, how early DOES one have to leave in order to "avoid the holiday traffic?" Yesterday night? This morning? Seriously, I'm starting to wonder.
John Townsend: Hello Just wondering.
All things being equal, the best time to leave is when you are rested and focused. The rush will be on this evening during the height of the rush hour. But because this is truly a three-day holiday weekend, perhaps it is best to let everyone else get of Dodge this evening and then hit the road tomorrow morning.
Keep in mind, the July 4th holiday is typically the busiest time of year for auto travel since nearly all school-aged children are out of school, and, as a result, parents are more apt to take family vacations.
The majority of travelers in the Washington area will travel 715 miles roundtrip over the July 4th weekend. So the most important thing is to keep safety first. Have a good trip and a safe one too.

Traveling the Bay Bridge? Townsend advises that these are the best times:


  • Thursday - before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.

  • Friday - before noon and after 10 p.m.

  • Saturday - before 7 a.m. and between 5 and 10 p.m.

  • Sunday - between 7 and 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 2, 2009; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  holiday travel  | Tags: July 4 travel tips  
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