While we all enjoy getting together with our loved ones on the holidays, traveling on busy days like Thanksgiving can be pretty stressful. Thanks to a new report from Google Maps and Google News Lab, holiday traveling may get a little less taxing.
So, what does this report reveal? Google Maps and Google News Lab have mapped out the best and worst times to travel for the holiday weekend. Here's how they figured it all out:
For determining traffic conditions, we considered the “Thanksgiving Holiday Period” to start the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and end the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We analyzed the total number of cars on the road at a given time, as determined by the speed and location of Android phones that have location services enabled. All traffic information is anonymous and taken in aggregate for 25 US cities and nationally.
Based on their research, the worst time to leave before Thanksgiving is on Wednesday (November 27) from 3 to 4 PM. The worst time to depart after Thanksgiving is Sunday (December 1) in the afternoon. Unfortunately, though, if you're looking for the best times to travel on Thanksgiving, it will mean waking up super early. Based on Google's data from last year, the best time to depart before Thanksgiving is before 4am on Wednesday. The best post-holiday travel time is before 4am on Friday (November 29).
To get even more specific, you can use Google's tool to find out the exact traffic patterns in your area. This tool will you help you monitor any traffic changes in real time, too, so you can make travel decisions on the fly if need be.