Before the Summer Travel Memories Fade . . .
An overnight trip back to Washington from Cape Cod reminded me of the advice you travelers so often give when we discuss vacation routes: It's not so much the route you take. It's the time you take it.
I did the basic I-95 route -- with some standard deviations -- but left from Cape Cod at 12:22 a.m., arriving back here at 8:46 a.m. That meant it was a breeze through Connecticut and across Westchester County, NY, to the Tappan Zee Bridge and down the Garden State Parkway to the New Jersey Turnpike and across Delaware on I-95. (There wasn't even a slowdown at the Delaware toll plaza.
But, of course, traffic built up on I-95 north of the Baltimore Beltway, though the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza was not a problem. Things looked bad on I-95 north of Washington, so we cut over onto Route 29. That wasn't bad because we could stay left and avoid the heavy line waiting to merge onto the Capital Beltway.
If I could set my time for this basic route that so many of you use, I'd leave about 10 p.m., to avoid the local rush hours. If I couldn't do that, I might take the route many of you have recommended, using I-287, 78 and 81 to Harrisburg, PA, and then drop down I-83 to the Baltimore Beltway.
While similar memories of summer travel are still fresh in your own minds, did you notice anything about routes, conditions and timing that would be useful for future reference?
One tidbit you may find useful for Thanksgiving and other winter travels on I-95: The Delaware Welcome Center Travel Plaza, the big rest stop in the middle of I-95, closed overnight and will remain closed for reconstruction until June 2010.
September 8, 2009; 1:19 PM ET
Categories: Driving , Getaway , holiday travel | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, vacation routes
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