NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The holiday rush is starting with some early birds leaving today. Nearly 42 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend despite higher gas prices.

For New Yorkers looking to get out of the city, the worst travel will hit Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., reports CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

“New York City has the worst traffic multiplier where we’re anticipating that a trip that might normally take an hour might take as many as three hours,” warned Robert Sinclair of AAA.

Travelers should aim to leave earlier than 3:30 on Friday or just wait until early Saturday morning.

Coming back, the worst time to travel will be Monday after 6 p.m.

Along with traffic woes, holiday travelers are facing high gas prices, up about a penny a day over the last few weeks.

New York City leads the pack at $3.19 a gallon, followed by Connecticut at $3.13 and then New Jersey at $3.01.

In order to save gas, drivers are being urged to slow down.

“For every 5 miles an hour you’re over 50 miles per hour, the car uses more gas trying to fight the extra wind resistance,” said Sinclair. “Every 5 mph over 50 is like adding 18 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas, according to the Department of Energy.”

Triple AAA expects to rescue more than 340,000 motorists this holiday weekend, so before hitting the road have your battery tested, look for Engine Coolant leaks and check the condition of your tires.

And if you’re traveling with kids, like mom Daniela Gould, it will all be about the snacks, the ipad and lots of stops.

“If it gets really bad, we’ll just stop somewhere, we get out, just walk around for a little bit,” said Gould.

Despite all these potential problems, hassles and headaches, none of it is keeping the majority of holiday travelers at home. Automobile travel is expected to increase for the fourth straight year, up by nearly 5 percent over last Memorial Day.

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