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May 26, 2016

Weather, Gas Prices, Travel, Deals - Small Talk on Memorial Day

For a majority of office-going Americans, Memorial Day (the last Monday of May), is the first day off of work they have since January 1. That coupled with the fact most people are finally experiencing some warm weather, makes Memorial Day one of the most talked about small talk topics of the year. 

What are the main small talk topics?  
  • Weather 
  • Gas Prices 
  • Travel (Road Trips/Car Travel, and for others, air travel)  
  • Deals or Sales  
  • Events  
Let's take a look news clips featuring each of these stories as per 2016 headlines. Keep in mind that while these are 2016 news clips, these topics are talked about in various degrees before, during or after any Memorial Day weekend. 

Since it will be one of the first days off of the year, and people want to get out and do something outdoors with their family and friends. Common outdoor activities include going to the beach, swim, boating, picnicking, hiking, camping, cookouts (barbecues), etc. So, everyone is praying for good weather (meaning sun, no snow, no rain). Keep in mind that Americans use Fahrenheit to measure temperatures, not Celsius. 

Notice how when talking about the weather, Amber Lee of KCAL 9, Southern California stresses on the fact that it will be sunny and warm! The other reason to watch local weather reports is to see maps of the local area, to get familiar with the nearby towns, suburbs and major roads or highways. 

A colorful gas pump in the USA.
Gas Prices
Since it is estimated that 38 million Americans will be on the road for the long weekend, there will be a lot of talk about gas prices. While many cite the lowest gas prices for Memorial Day in more than a decade, it is true that gas prices often rise slightly for Memorial Day as more people will be on the road.  

Keep in mind that while driving around on the long Memorial Day weekend, there may be pop-up police posts checking for seat belts (wear them!) and drinking and driving (don't do it!), as noted in this news story from Ohio. Learn more about driving rules or if you can drive in the U.S. as a tourist by clicking on the relevant links. 

Airport security check.
Airline Travel
While gas prices do fall under the heading of travel, so does traveling by air. The talk of 2016 are the long and irritating security lines at airports. The expose below provides tips on making the wait in the long lines more tolerable. 

The photo to the right was taken in September 2015 in the JFK airport New York City. Note the number 19, this indicated how many minutes you would be estimated to wait in line. For international travelers into the U.S., see the video on this post for tips on flying in to the U.S., and this post for what you can and can't pack in your bag. 

Deals or Sales 
As we all know, any occasion in the U.S. calls for a sale posted at a store. The picture to the right, for instance, was taken at Tops Markets in Rochester, New York in April 2016. Notice that 4th of July decor was being sold in April! Due to this, some of the patriotic themed decor, which can also be displayed on Memorial Day, will be discounted, along with other summertime themed merchandise. 

See more about this topic in the report below from Florida.

Special Events
Memorial Day is a day dedicated to the fallen soldiers. While most people talk about fun and games on this holiday weekend, there are also various kinds of events, parades, memorials and community functions held to commemorate those who have served in the U.S. Military. For example, in the video below, the discussion is all about a traveling exhibit being displayed in Kansas City to give homage to the fallen soldiers. 

To learn more about Memorial Day, see these posts: 
Should I wish people a Happy Memorial Day? 
Questions and Answers about Memorial Day 
News about Gas Prices and Travel From Last Year (along with a video on how to pump gas!) 

Thank you for reading. If you have been in the U.S. during Memorial Day share your experiences below! 
Jennifer Kumar

Jennifer Kumar, author of this posts helps prepare Indians for working on virtual teams with Americans or go onsite to the U.S. to start an American life! Contact us for more information to get your team started today! 

Want to build better working relationships? Learn more about our most popular, interactive and FUN workshop on small talk with American colleagues

*Note videos in this post are not promoted or created by Authentic Journeys. They are used only to highlight relevant points discussed in the content of this post.

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.