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These are the best days to travel on Memorial Day weekend for minimal stress


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With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, it’s time to finalize your rejuvenating getaway plans—but, if you have room in your itinerary for travel adjustments, new findings might make you consider implementing them, ASAP. The travel organization AAA recently released a report forecasting the busiest travel days surrounding the weekend based on advanced bookings. And avoiding those high-volume traffic and airport times may keep your stress levels in check. Lucky for you, that might just require checking out from work a bit earlier than you planned. Hey, maybe chalk it up to a great use of a mental-health day?

Since the busiest travel days will be Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25, consider leaving for your trip May 23 for an extra-long weekend or May 26 to avoid the travel congestion and stress.

More people are expected to travel for MDW this year than they have in the past 12 years—5 percent more than last year, in fact—according the report, which measured traffic by plane, bus, car, train, and even cruise ships. The prediction is that the busiest travel days will be Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25. In other words, now is the time to put your vacation days to good use and leave for your trip May 23 for an extra-long weekend or May 26 to avoid the travel congestion and stress. (The findings even specify the worst hours of travel for major cities, like 3:30 to 5:30pm on May 24 in Atlanta.)

With the best days to take off set, all that’s left to decide is the fun part: the destination. Based on advanced travel bookings, AAA reports that Seattle ranks as the second-most-popular locale this year—perhaps due to its great coffee and top-notch hiking trails. Honolulu ranks third, maybe in large part because it’s loaded with adrenaline-packed skydiving opportunities. Phoenix, the prime desert escape, comes in at No. 6, and in Denver, which came in ninth, you can snag a quaint Airbnb set in a tranquil, nature-filled escape.

But wherever you go, and whenever you get there, take care to unwind with some self-care—especially if the travel experience didn’t do wonders for your cortisol levels. If you need help unwinding, try a super-quick guided meditation, like this one.

Here’s Karlie Kloss’ packing guide to carry-on-only travel. Or, check out the travel skin-care products actress Ashley Madekwe swears by.

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