News Culture

Do You Let Traffic Dictate Your Driving Plans?

We all hope for minimal traffic, but there's "hoping" and then there's "actively arranging your travel to try and have the roads to yourself." What's your move?
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

I got some advice as I packed up to head home from the lake this weekend: “Either leave before lunch or after five.” You’ve probably heard similar—we’re all hoping to minimize the misery of sitting in traffic, right? But there’s “hoping” and then there’s “actively arranging your travel to make sure you miss as much traffic as you can.” Which are you?

This year AAA put out a press release expecting more than 37 million Americans to take road trips this Memorial Day and confirmed some 35 million did so last year. That’s almost 10 percent of the U.S. population!

If you were migrating anywhere near a major metro this weekend, you probably knew you were going to hit some slowdowns. What I’m curious about is how much our readers try to actively compensate by traveling at off times or trying to take unique routes. Do you just travel when you want to travel and hope for the best, or plot and scheme to try and have the road to yourself?

Having lived in Los Angeles, I accept traffic as a fact of life and try not to get too fezzed up when I simply must travel at peak times. That said, if there’s any flexibility on my end at all, I’ll do whatever I can to only drive when traffic’s flowing favorably. I’ll try to drive in the middle of the night, change my destination at the last minute, or even avoid certain areas during holidays altogether when I can. What’s your move? And how well did your strategies play out this long weekend?