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Friday will be the worst day for Memorial Day travel, report says

Thursday is also bad, but Saturday is better

Going out of town this Memorial Day? You might want to avoid Friday travel in Seattle, according to a report by AAA and software and data company Inrix. Even if you’re staying at home, Friday rush hour combined with people getting out of town could gum up the works—the worst time for travel that day in Seattle, predicts the report, will be 4 to 6 p.m.

The report estimates that travelers can expect trips to take around twice as long as normal, or more specifically: 1.8 times.

This answer may seem a little obvious; Friday during rush hour always sucks, after all, and this is the time that the majority of folks that get a three-day weekend will be able to start their festivities. But in some areas, Thursday is an even worse idea, including Atlanta, Boston, Houston, and the other Washington, things are expected to be even worse.

Update: When asked whether conditions would improve for Thursday and Saturday traffic times, Inrix said the outlook is slightly better on Thursday and much better on Saturday.

Travelers can expect, according to the report, trips taking 1.5 times as long on Thursday, with the worst congestion happening during rush hour from 4 to 6 p.m. On Saturday, trip length won’t be affected much at all, with trips taking 1.1 times longer than usual during the lunch period from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The bottom line (and a bit of an obvious one): Getting behind the wheel on a major holiday could be predictably frustrating. And unless you’re taking light rail, your bus could get caught in it, too, although at least you can read on the bus. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

This article has been updated with outlooks for alternate travel times.