Most people think that Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and eating but don’t forget the big part that traveling plays in the Thanksgiving celebration as well. Unfortunately, getting from here to there on Thanksgiving can be one of the most stressful parts because we share the road with so many other travelers. If you’d like to reduce the stress for yourself and your family, you can use Google maps to plan your day with some good, old-fashioned data.
Travel + Leisure discusses the many Thanksgiving travel tips given by Google Maps. It includes the best of times and the worst of times to get on the highway. Perhaps you might think that leaving on Wednesday will give you the jumpstart on traffic but Google says it is the busiest day of the Thanksgiving week. Throughout the country, congestion seems to peak between 3 and 4 PM. If you have to travel on November 27, make sure you get started early in the day to get the jump on traffic.
If you are going to be doing your traveling on Thursday, hit the road around 6 AM in the morning because most major cities will be clear of traffic. The traffic will increase gradually throughout the morning and tends to peak around lunchtime.
It isn’t all about getting to your destination, it’s about getting back home as well. This can also be a difficult trip but there is something you can do to make it a little less stressful. If you plan out your journey ahead of time, plan to hit the road on Sunday morning when most travelers will already be back home and off of the road until the workweek starts.
You can use Google for more than just mapping out your travel plans to and from Thanksgiving dinner. You can also use it for travel information along the way. Google trends show that the day before Thanksgiving at lunchtime, ‘ham shops’ tends to be a popular choice. Black Friday is more likely to see some Google search traffic pointing people to outlet malls. Who knew?