NATIONAL ROAD TRIP DAY – Friday Before Memorial Day

(Last Updated On: February 3, 2023)


The Friday before Memorial Day (in 2022, it is May 27) is declared National Road Trip Day and serves as the official kickoff of the summer road trip season. Millions of Americans hit the road each year over the long weekend, visiting friends and family while paying tribute to our American heroes.


Entering summer 2022, more Americans are anxious to make up lost vacation time and recent surveys suggest an overwhelming majority prefer driving as the leading choice for reaching their summer destinations. According to The Vacationer, 80 percent of Americans are going to take a road trip this summer and of those making plans for Memorial Day weekend, more than half plan to travel by car.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, visiting family and friends, or making a business connection, road trips are often a rite of passage and this vacation season is all about the journey to the destination.

Getting There

Road trips that begin and end with happy passengers are always the best. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  •  Plan ahead. Even a spur of the moment trip requires planning.
    • Two in five (42 percent) road trippers find travel apps very helpful when planning their trip, and mapping out your stops ahead of time can be a great way to save both time and money.
    • One way to do so is with the Pilot Flying J’s   myRewards PlusTM app, which permits travelers to tailor their trip routes and save on the go by showcasing specific amenities, fuel prices and more.
  • Vehicle maintenance is vital to any successful road trip. Beyond the routine maintenance like oil changes and sound tires, other simple checks will keep you on the road.
    • Check your wipers and wiper fluid
    • Make sure your spare tire and jack are in place
    • All lights and signals are working
    • Condition of your brake pads
    • Registration is current or not about to expire
  • Plot your course. Consider construction, fuel and snack stops, shopping, and the interests of the other travelers.
    • Road trippers prioritize convenience and efficiency, primarily (58 percent) wanting to stop at all-in-one rest stops (offers gas, food, drinks, coffee, bathrooms, and more).
    • Specifically, the top “road trip essential” snacks are chips and salty foods (52 percent), freshly made, grab-and-go foods (50 percent), and fast food options (49 percent).

How do you travel?

There are two kinds of people who take road trips. If you’re going together, you might want to discuss a compromise before hitting the road! The tourist takes their time getting there and taking the scenic routes. On the other hand, the pilot enjoys seeing the country from the car, sets a course, and frowns upon unscheduled stops or side trips.

No matter the destination, road trips include an element of expectation, and they rarely disappoint. The best road trips bring us closer to people over a stick of beef jerky and car karaoke. They connect us to places through memories, a postcard, and the kindness of strangers.

How to observe National Road Trip Day

Let the Summer times Roll! It’s that time of year where families and friends prepare for National Road Trip Day by hitting the road and discovering exciting new destinations.

Pilot Flying J is kicking off the much-anticipated holiday with a summer of deals and the launch of a $50,000 fuel giveaway, starting May 25 through May 29, with the chance to win  $500 gift cards on a daily basis!

How do you enter the contest?

Travelers can enter to win by visiting Pilot Flying J’s Facebook to share road trip memories and photos of past adventures.

Road Trip Essentials and Savings

National Road Trip Day kicks-off a summer of deals to stock up and save on snacks, drinks and road trip essentials.. Deals in the myRewards PlusTM app include daily offers on popular drinks, snacks and merchandise, as well as ‘summer sizzler’ BOGOs every week.

Follow @PilotFlyingJ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your National Road Trip Day plans to enter to win.


In 2019, Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center operator in North America, founded National Road Trip Day, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, to officially kick off the unofficial first day of the summer travel season. Pilot Flying J prepares all spring for the summer travel season and helps provide guests with the fuel, food, drinks, and travel necessities needed to make it from point A to point B as easily and conveniently as possible. With 750 travel center locations in North America, Pilot Flying J is a convenient, one-stop-shop for travelers, offering clean bathrooms and a large assortment of snacks, beverages and food options. To learn more about National Road Trip Day, visit

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the first National Road Trip Day in 2019 and to be observed annually on the Friday before Memorial Day.


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