Millions of Americans are getting ready to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving, and Google Maps says that makes for some of the worst traffic conditions of the year. The team analyzed two years of traffic data, and shared some tips on how to avoid traffic in the week surrounding Thanksgiving Day.
Google Maps analyzed Thanksgiving traffic conditions for two years in 21 American cities to try to find ways to beat the rush, it said in a blog post. While some of the tips may seem like common sense, a number of them could make a big difference to Thanksgiving travelers.
If you can, avoid traveling on Wednesday. Getting to the destination a day early is the goal for many Americans, making it the absolute worst day to travel. That is, unless you live in Boston. For some reason, Beantown traffic is worse on Tuesday. Also, if you’re in Honolulu, San Francisco and Providence, Rhode Island, then Saturday is worse, but Wednesday is still probably no picnic.
If you must travel the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday), don’t do it between the hours of 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The busiest hours on the busiest day might leave you feeling less-than-thankful, so better to leave earlier, or later at night.
There is very little traffic on Thanksgiving Day. One might assume that since everyone left work early on Wednesday and then spent the time sitting around in traffic, the roads are pretty clear on Turkey Day proper. Google Maps says to avoid 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. though, when the roads can be a bit busy.
Leave on Sunday, not Saturday. Google Maps’ data shows that everyone rushes to enjoy the end of their long weekend at home, making Saturday traffic 40 percent worse than Sunday’s.
Try to be more patient, especially if you’re spending the holiday in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love boasts the biggest uptick in traffic during the week of Thanksgiving, followed closely by Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.