The Easter getaway will start two weeks early as millions of families take to the road when many schools break up on Friday, a motoring organisation has warned.
RAC research suggests 14 million leisure trips will be taken by car between Friday and Sunday in the UK.
Friday is expected to be the busiest day for traffic with 5.3 million getaway trips battling for road space with commuter and commercial traffic.
The best time to travel to avoid hold-ups on Friday is either before 3pm or after 7pm.
A second wave of congestion is expected over the Easter bank holiday weekend two weeks later.
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With the Easter bank holiday falling so late this year we are expecting to see a double wave of getaway traffic – firstly at the end of this week and then again two weeks later for the four-day weekend.
“We’re hopeful the weather won’t cause drivers too many issues through this coming weekend, but everyone should be ready for some typical short, sharp April showers, with even the possibility of some snow on higher ground in the North.
“This can be a busy time of year for our patrols so we strongly urge motorists to check over their vehicles before they set out. This is particularly important for people driving long distances.
“Spending just a few moments to check oil, coolant, together with tyre tread depth and pressures, can mean the difference between a long but completed journey and one disrupted by an inconvenient, and perhaps preventable, breakdown that ruins the start of a holiday.”