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May 20, 2015

Small Talk Questions for Memorial Day in the U.S.

Gas station price board.
Are you wondering what questions or topics you can discuss with your U.S. counterparts in relation to Memorial Day? I will share some recommendations with you in this post. Keep in mind that Memorial Day is the last Monday of May, so your colleagues may start talking about it Tuesday or Wednesday the week before. Some may also take off the Friday and or Thursday before Memorial Day to have a super long holiday weekend! 

Some questions you can ask: 
  • Doing anything fun this long weekend?
  • Taking a road trip this Memorial Day weekend?
  • Looks like the weather is shaping up for a good holiday weekend. Any plans? 
  • How's the weather this weekend? 
  • I heard it is Memorial Day weekend this weekend, doing anything interesting? 
Note, that in most cases Americans avoid talking about cost of things they purchase or buy at work, barring gas prices. Most people will discuss, or complain, about gas prices especially as most holiday weekends approaches. 

It's also important not to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day. Here's why

From the Triple A (American Automobile Association) Website (2016): 
AAA predicts that automotive travel this Memorial Day holiday will be up 5.3 percent (33 million travelers) compared to last year’s holiday weekend, which would be the highest volume in ten years. Gas prices may not change all that much by the holiday weekend, which would result in the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.
While the prices may be slightly higher this Memorial Day than last Memorial Day, many Americans may still be gasping in excitement to hit the road! As most working professionals have not had a day off since January 1, most people are itching to get out and go somewhere, spend time outside, go on a picnic, go to the beach, go on a road trip, or just enjoy the nice weather. Wishing you a sunny and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. 

For more about Memorial Day and other ideas for small talk, click here.
(Note: Memorial Day 20 is on Monday, May 28.)

Videos from Local News Channels on Memorial Day Weekend Travel:
(While these videos are from 2015, use them as a reference point for how people make small talk about this American holiday.) 

This video from Springfield, Massachusetts shares tips on avoiding the most hectic travel times during the Memorial Day weekend.

Reports from the state of Delaware.

Pocatello, Idaho.

Spokane, Washington.

Jennifer attempts to teach you how to pump gas in the U.S.A.!

Jennifer Kumar is the creator of the US Culture Training Finishing School, helping expat workers adjust to life and work in the US before going or after arriving. Contact us for more information. 

Related Posts: 
How do Americans talk outside of work? 
Listen to the weather report to learn local American English 
Driving Legally in the US as a Foreigner 
Do not wish Happy Memorial Day 

Updated: Feb. 2017, May 2018

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.