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Plan with Google Maps to avoid Thanksgiving traffic



Eat turkey and sit in traffic are two thanksgiving traditions. One is delicious and covered in sauce, and the other is not. If you host, you can use these brining and roasting tips for better results from turkey, and if you travel with Thanksgiving, you can use data from Google Maps to get to your turkey and the family) faster.

Google has mapped Thanksgiving. It analyzed historical Google Maps traffic data in 25 major subways to determine the best and worst times on the way this weekend weekend, from Wednesday to Sunday.

  google maps-thanksgiving-traffic

Google

The first news should not be a surprise: Lots of people are coming Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The biggest traffic disruption is in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Detroit. Traffic is also a bit heavier than usual on Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, so if you go on a Wednesday at work, it may be meaningful to leave Wednesday morning rather than Tuesday night. AAA confirms this traffic forecast by reporting that late afternoon / early evening on Tuesday is the worst time to travel in many subways. It is also projecting that more people will travel to Thanksgiving this year than we have seen since 2005; Road journeys amount to 4.8 percent and flights by 5.4 percent.

It's easier to go home. Traffic does not spike as high as Thanksgiving as it does the day before the big day. Saturday is a better day off than Sunday, a fact that you can use if you have had enough family day after you finish your first turkey sandwich on Friday afternoon. Washington DC has the biggest bump in traffic over the weekend, and Charlotte and St. Louis bucks Saturday's trend as a better day trip than Sunday, with both cities showing the biggest post-Thanksgiving traffic increase on Saturday afternoon.


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In addition to the helpful traffic chart, Google will also tell you the best and worst times to leave before and after Thanksgiving. The best times to leave are generally at dawn, and the worst times are late in the afternoon. For Cleveland, for example, the best times are to go 4:00 on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and 4:00 on Fridays after. The worst times to leave are 4:00 AM on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and at 4:00 AM the following Sunday.

Originally published on November 21, 2017.
Update, November 19, 2018: Added information about AAA's Thanksgiving Forecast.

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