Swap the barbeques and family gatherings for an unforgettable American adventure this Memorial Day weekend.
You can cram a lot into a long weekend, especially in your own backyard right here in the US. Whether you fancy discovering thundering waterfalls and giant sequoia trees in Yosemite, soaking in natural hot springs in the Sierra Nevada, tackling bucket list-worthy hiking trails or losing yourself in the beauty of the wild west’s spectacular desert landscapes, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect excuse to create some new travel memories. There will still be barbeques and get-togethers – but they might look like camp-style dinners under the stars followed by late-night chats around the fire with your new Intrepid family instead.
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a solemn but important day for many Americans. It’s a day to honor and commemorate the lives of Americans who have died while serving the US military service. A minute of silence is observed across the nation at 3 pm and many people visit the graves and cemeteries of fallen soldiers. Some cities hold parades, but many people will get together with family and friends to enjoy barbeques in the garden or picnics at the beach or park.
History of Memorial Day
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was established in 1868 by a group of Union veterans who visited the graves of soldiers that fought in the Civil War and adorned them with flowers. It was then recognized as a day to remember all those who have served and fallen, and later became a federal public holiday in 1971.
When is Memorial Day 2023?
Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday in May. This year, it falls on May 29, 2023.
Highlights of our Memorial Day getaways & vacations
Tours departing around Memorial Day
United States FAQs
What to pack for your trip in the United States largely depends on what kind of trip you're going on. If it's more of an active trip then packing things like comfortable walking shoes, a day bag/backpack (for your reusable drink bottle and snacks), lightweight clothing, and sunscreen are all essentials. Be sure to pack your camera, portable chargers, extra batteries, a hat, and other appropriate clothing items (swimwear, etc) so your trip is a stress-free one.
Trips on or before 31 December 2022
If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.