By Deborah Flomberg
Memorial Day is the start of the summer season, which means everyone will be out of the house, finding different ways to celebrate the day with their families. Of course, that also means the dreaded traffic jams, the congested streets and the headaches that come from being stuck in a hot car for hours on end. Don’t let the stress of traffic ruin your holiday. There are a few things you can do to plan for Memorial Day traffic to keep your spirits high and to make the most of your day off.READ MORE: President Biden Taps Former Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus As Customs and Border Protection Commissioner
If you’re checking out a parade or headed to a military cemetery or memorial, then traffic is to be expected. But if you plan early and head out before everyone else, you can enjoy the time without the headaches. Check out your local traffic guides before you leave and plan on getting out earlier than everyone else. Then, you’ll be done, enjoying your barbecue back at home when everyone else is still sitting in traffic.
Use Traffic Apps
Just about every smart phone has a traffic app already available. From Google Maps and Apple Maps to the popular Waze app, you’ll find each will help you keep track of where the traffic jams are and how you can avoid them. Of course, for the safest holiday, make sure to take advantage of the voice and sound feature on your map program, or have someone else in the car help navigate so you can keep your eyes on the road and not on your phone. Then you can enjoy the day without the stress of traffic.READ MORE: COVID Schools: AC Transit Resuming Bus Lines For Returning Students In Newark, Oakland, West Contra Costa
Play A Game
Inevitably, you’ll end up in some sort of traffic jam, and if you’ve got children in the car you can then expect a chorus of “are we there yet?” and “I’m bored!” coming from backseat. Prevent this with some fun car games – just like you played when you were a kid. Introduce your children to games like 20 Questions or The License Plate Game. Just use the time to keep your energy high, your spirits up and to keep from getting truly stressed out by the sea of red lights in front of you. You can also pack your kiddos a car kit with games, coloring books, snacks and other things to keep them occupied throughout the long car ride.
Take The Scenic Route
With the help of map apps, you can also find some really fun and new ways to get around your city. What a great way to see the parts of town you may not normally see, or to get the most scenic route available while appreciating the beautiful warm weather that the end of May always brings. Instead of rushing from point A to point B, take the long way there, enjoy the view and make some memories. Be sure to stop at all those scene overlook and photo opportunities along the way.
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So you might not want to deal with the traffic, which means it may be best to just stay home for the day. However, don’t let the holiday pass you by without finding ways to enjoy it at home with the whole family. From backyard barbecues to craft days, running in the sprinkler or block parties, there are lots of different ways to celebrate the holiday without ever stepping foot into your car. Make it more than just another day off – include the kids and keep the spirit of the holiday alive, even if you don’t want to leave the house.