When is Daylight Savings 2011?
Daylight saving time is coming back to the United States on Sunday, March 13, when clocks in the four time zones of the contiguous U.S. (Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific) will jump one hour forward at 2 a.m. This marks the moment each year that U.S. and Canadian clocks switch from standard (or winter) time to daylight saving (or summer) time in 2011.
Most of the destinations in the Western Hemisphere that observe daylight saving time will be "springing forward" on March 13. The time change also takes place in Canada's Atlantic Time Zone, as well as the Alaska Standard Time Zone.
Exceptions to the Rule
The Hawaii-Aleutian standard time zone does not observe daylight saving time, and so the clocks in Hawaii will not be adjusted on March 13. Colombia, Honduras, Argentina and Puerto Rico are several of many exceptions in the Western Hemisphere (and it's important to note that the nations in South America that do observe daylight saving time – like Uruguay and parts of Brazil – are on an opposite schedule if they are south of the equator, meaning they will be ending daylight saving time within the next month and switching to standard/winter time).
Mexico is especially confusing: It divides its DST switchover between March 13, April 3, and no switch at all, depending on which area you're in. For a country-by-country schedule of daylight saving time, click here.
Daylight Saving Time When Traveling
The switch to daylight saving time can be confusing for travelers, especially those that might be crossing time zones or the equator. Most cell phone clocks and laptops will automatically update, so you're probably better off trusting those devices than a hotel room clock, which might not be accurate.
That said, it's good practice to verify with your wireless carrier just to make sure that you won't have to manually update your cell phone clock yourself, and beware of any snags that have hit certain cell phones or wireless carriers in years past.
If you need to be up at a certain time on Sunday morning, requesting a wake up call from your hotel's front desk is a good extra step to take.
We recommend double-checking your flight itinerary as well: If your flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta is scheduled to land at 3 a.m., make sure that it will definitely be 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and not 4 a.m., for example.
Restaurants, bars and other venues might be closing quicker than usual, if you are traveling and planning on staying out late-night on Saturday this weekend. For instance, bars in New York City – which normally close at 4 a.m. – will lose an hour of patronage when the clocks skip from 2 a.m to 3 a.m.
One last tip is to make sure that you update your home clocks before you leave for the weekend. That way, when you arrive home after March 13, your house will be adjusted already.
Other Dates to Keep in Mind
If you are traveling internationally this weekend, keep in mind that other areas on the globe will be pushing their clocks forward on different Sundays this year. In most of the Eastern Hemisphere, daylight saving time in 2011 begins either March 27 or April 3. If you'll be traveling this weekend, the only area that will be impacted by daylight saving will be the United States, Canada, and those areas in Greenland, the Caribbean and Mexico that observe.
Clocks in Europe will make their shift on March 27 this year.
In Australia, the clocks are on the opposite schedule, and will switch from daylight saving time back to standard time on April 3, 2011.
And for travelers who are planning even farther ahead, mark your calendars: The next round of daylight saving time swaps in the United States will happen on November 6, 2011 and March 11, 2012.