Labor Day is the last real day of summer so there is always a lof of pressure to wring the maximum amount of joy or relaxation out of those 24 carefree hours. In fact, there is so much emphasis placed on enjoying the long weekend that many Americans get stressed out, decide they have to do something and find themselves stuck in gridlock.
Getting away is good, but exchanging one type of stress for another doesn't solve anything. The crowds in Napa, on Cape Cod and in the Hamptons are inevitable, but not dealbreaking for travelers who have a plan and stick to it. The most successful Labor Daytrippers follow the advice given by animated bags of popcorn before movies: They turn off their cell phones and figure out where the exits are.
They also pack intelligently, bringing water, liquor and ibuprofen. It is going to be hot, there's no excuse not to and 11 a.m. drinks don't feel great come 3 p.m.
All that said, no amount of planning will help travelers avoid Labor Day disaster if they choose the wrong destination. Here is a last minute warning from wanderers in the know, if you enter these five cities this weekend, you will be doing so at your own peril.
Turn back while you still can.