The year-end holiday season is a wonderful time to spend with your family and friends, but it also brings more travelers (and of course, travel delays) than any other time of year. While some delays can’t be avoided, here are some tips you can follow to maximize your time.
Avoid the Busiest Air Traffic Days
While there is no ideal day to travel during the holiday season, there are days when you should avoid air travel. Year after year, travel data shows December 22-23 and December 26-27 are the busiest air-traffic days of the year with the heaviest delays.
Skip traffic and parking when you use the Metro to get to Dulles Airport or Ronald Reagan National Airport and save time and money. With the station just a short walk from baggage claims and check-in counters, using the Metro may be the difference between making or missing your flight.
Flying out of Ronald Reagan National Airport or Washington Dulles International Airport?
- DCA: Take the Orange Line to Rosslyn Metro Station and transfer to the Blue Line toward Franconia-Springfield. Ride the Blue Line for three stops to reach Ronald Reagan National Airport.
- IAD: Take the Orange Line to East Falls Church Metro Station, then transfer to the Silver Line toward Ashburn. Ride the Silver Line for nine stops to reach Dulles International Airport.
Driving Long Distance?
If you are driving long-distance for the holidays, consider holiday traffic when choosing a day to drive.
- For all long-distance interstate drives, Sunday is the day with the least traffic. The earlier in the morning you can start your drive, the less likely you are to be delayed by traffic.
- Another way to improve your long-distance travel is regional and interstate rail – explore the VRE (Virginia Railway Express), MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter Rail), and Amtrak to discover routes that will keep you off the road altogether!
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a regional commuter rail system with two lines that operate only on weekdays. VRE can take you to destinations like DC, Alexandria, Woodbridge, Manassas, Fredericksburg and more. One-way tickets can be purchased at VRE stations or through their mobile app.
Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) can be used to travel from Union Station in Washington, DC to various locations in Maryland including Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Baltimore and Aberdeen on the Penn Line. Riders can access destinations like Laurel, Jessup and Camden Yards on the Camden Line. The Brunswick Line can be used for destinations like Gaithersburg, Germantown and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
We hope that these tips make your holiday travel a more pleasant experience so you can focus on the destination. For step-by-step directions, get your personalized commute plan at the link below.