With over 50 million Americans hitting the roads this Thanksgiving, it’s crucial to plan your Turkey day departure and arrival times.
This year, record numbers of Americans are predicted to be in planes, trains, and automobiles – AAA says Thanksgiving travel will jump to the highest level since 2005, boosted by a strong economy and labor market.
And with that, comes record traffic.
Luckily, the folks at Google and AAA crunched the numbers, using last year’s data to forecast for Thanksgiving 2017.
No matter where you’re headed or leaving from, Wednesday late afternoon will have the most traffic, says Google. They recommend heading out Thursday morning or, after 9:00 pm on Wednesday.
“Thanksgiving has historically been one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year we could see record-level travel delays,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, in an AAA release. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”
According to AAA, the most congested cities for Thanksgiving travel will be Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, respectively. Atlanta and Miami round out the top five.
As for leaving the family shindig, times vary across metro areas. Analyzing the total numbers of cars on the road based on Android services that were enabled last year, Google broke down the highest and lowest traffic volumes for 25 metro areas across the United States.
Overall, they said that “Typically leaving on Saturday or Sunday early morning is the best and you should avoid hitting the road on Friday or Saturday in the late afternoon to beat the traffic.”