Easter 2023 travel advice: best and worst days to travel + roads to avoid

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Easter travel
Busiest days and times
Busiest roads
Travel tips
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The Easter bank holiday is fast approaching. Here’s our top tips on when to travel and which routes to avoid so you can have a cracking Easter! 🐣 (Sorry…)

Easter travel

Traditionally, the Easter weekend has always been a busy period for travel, but 2022’s holiday was particularly hectic - and drivers should expect more of the same this year.

Last year, after a series of Easter holidays ruined by Covid, traffic analysis warned the four-day weekend would see people taking in excess of 21 million leisure journeys, the busiest Easter since 2014.

Combined with a surge in UK staycations, Easter is again expected to be a busy time on the road this year.

Roads will be particularly busy on Good Friday and Easter Monday, with the M6 and M25 particularly at risk of traffic jams.

Busiest days and times on the road at Easter

Based on historic data, here are the best and worst days and times to travel.

We've used 2022's INRIX and RAC data to highlight when and when not to hit the road.

Worst and best days to travel, according to the number of trips expected ahead of last year's bank holiday weekend:

  • Friday: 4.62 million trips
  • Monday: 3.96 million trips
  • Saturday: 3.63 million trips
  • Sunday: 3.63 million trips

FYI, this year the Easter weekend runs from April 7-10.

Worst time of day to travel:

  • Friday: 9.30am - 7:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Monday: 12:00pm - 2.30pm

Quieter times of day to travel:

  • Friday: before 9:00am or after 7:30pm
  • Saturday: after 3:00pm
  • Sunday: after 3:00pm
  • Monday: before 10.30am and after 6.30pm
Prepare your routes and travel times for an easy trip
Prepare your routes and travel times for an easy trip
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Busy roads over Easter weekend

It’ll come as no surprise that motorways up and down the country will be taking the brunt of the Easter traffic. However, some roads look like they’ll be worse hit than others, based on historic data.

Roads to avoid:

  • M6 north between Liverpool and the Lake District
  • M6 south towards Stoke-on-Trent
  • M25 between Surrey and the M40 exit
  • A303 near Stonehenge
  • M3 north to Basingstoke

[Top tip: it can be hard to keep calm when stuck in a never ending line of vehicles, especially if the kids are getting fractious, and studies have found that listening to music can calm anxiety and lower blood pressure. On that note, here’s a list of our top driving songs!]

Prepare your routes and travel times for an easy trip
Prepare your routes and travel times for an easy trip

Top tips for Easter travel

If you’ve been enjoying working from home recently, you may have managed to avoid taking the car out, so it pays to check both you and your vehicle are safe to hit the road.

There have been several important changes to the Highway Code this year, and it’s wise to ensure you read up on these.

Vehicle checks

There are several simple, yet critical, vehicle checks you should do if you’re planning an Easter getaway:

  • Fuel - make sure you have plenty of fuel, and remember that motorway services can charge around 30p more per litre than a non-motorway petrol station
  • Oil - check your oil levels
  • Coolant - check you are topped up
  • Screenwash - ditto
  • Tyres - ensure they are inflated to the correct pressure and that the tread is at least 3mm deep. Don’t forget to check the spare
  • Lights - check your lights all work correctly
  • Wiper blades - check they clear your windscreen properly

Passenger checks

To help your break go as smoothly as possible, here are some tips from our experts to ensure an easy ride:

  • Mobile phone - make sure your phone is fully charged before you set off, and that you have the appropriate hands-free equipment
  • Sat nav - with petrol stations, destination and other stop offs programmed in
  • Insurance and breakdown cover details - keep them in a handy place
  • Face covering and hand sanitiser - be safe
  • Water or juice - it’s important to remain hydrated, especially travelling long distance
  • Snacks - who doesn’t love a treat?
  • First aid kit - this is essential
  • Entertainment - if you have children with you, don’t forget to pack something to keep them happy; the “are we there yet?” can rapidly increase your stress levels!

Get insured

Snacks and fuel are important but there is one golden rule you need to abide before hitting the road this Easter: you must be insured.

Cuvva has you sorted there, with flexible policies from just one hour with no nasty hidden fees, tie-ins or interest.

Whatever you’re after, you can get a quote in minutes.

Updated on 28th March 2023