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Memorial Day weekend travel tips

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

Less stress, More fun

Memorial Day is the perfect weekend to get out of town for enjoying the sun, water and sand. However, you're likely to find yourself battling the throngs of fellow holiday travelers. Avoid this and other headaches that come with taking off for the long weekend by reading a few tips to help you out.

Memorial Day Traffic

Road trip!

If you're traveling by car over Memorial Day weekend, the first thing you should consider is how to avoid the rest of the travelers on the road. It's best to leave before noon on Friday and come back before or after six o'clock on Monday. (If you have the flexibility, leaving on Thursday and coming back on Tuesday is probably an even better solution to avoiding the heavy traffic for any holiday weekend.)

Check the weather

If your plans are flexible, and you haven't made any reservations, check the forecast before you leave to make sure you are heading into good weather, especially if you plan on camping or going to the beach. If cloudy skies are in your future, you might want to consider barbecuing at home or finding a sunnier destination.

Parking

Since the airports will more than likely be jam-packed over the weekend, you can expect to engage in a major battle for a parking spot. Also instead of paying an exorbitant amount for stressful parking, ask a friend or relative to drop you off. If you can't find anyone who'll be around for the weekend, look into cheaper off-site lots that can shuttle you in.

Entertain your kids

Keeping your kids happy is key for a successful trip. Whether on the road or on a plane, bringing a portable DVD player, books or anything else that will keep your kids entertained will not only allow you to keep your sanity, but your fellow passengers as well. You might also want to think about traveling during the night so your kids can sleep through most of the trip.

Arrive early

Security and check-in lines at the airport will undoubtedly be long for the holiday weekend. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to your gate. It's recommended that you arrive at least an hour and a half before your scheduled flight. Also checking in and printing out your boarding passes online before you get to the airport will save you time.

Enjoy yourself

Even though there are many elements to contend with when it comes to holiday travel, there are also many ways to ensure your trip is stress free. Since holiday weekends are meant to be fun and relaxing, follow our tips, plan ahead and enjoy your Memorial Day excursion!

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