When is the Best Time to Travel On Thanksgiving Weekend?

when is the best time to travel around thanksgiving

The season for giving thanks is upon us.

… And well, that’s much easier to do if you aren’t sitting in traffic for the big day.

So, when is the best time to travel in order to avoid the traffic in your area?

In this post, we share tips on which days and time of day to avoid, along with the ideal time to head back home after your Thanksgiving meal.

What’s the Best Day to Travel?

Well, as it turns out Google Maps did just this kind of research for our convenience.

Different cities around the country have peak holiday travel times on different days.  For example, Wednesday is the busiest travel day for most cities; however if you are traveling around Boston, Providence, or Honolulu (if only….) Tuesday, or Saturday would be your busiest travel days.

So what does this mean for our residents along the east coast?  Plenty!  

It turns out that Washington D.C. is among the top 3 cities most impacted by the biggest increase in traffic for the Thanksgiving feast.  If you are headed to Philadelphia or New York City from any of our apartment home locations in these areas; you will also be impacted.  So plan ahead and give yourself some extra travel time.

the worst days to travel are wednesday, tuesday, and saturday

What Time Should I Hit the Road?

Since the worst time to travel is on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; if you must travel at this time be sure to leave before 2 pm or after 7 pm to avoid the absolute heaviest of the traffic.

If you’re traveling local on Thanksgiving Day, Google recommends staying off the road between 12 pm – 2 pm!

When Should I Head Home?

Google says Saturdays are the busiest so save your journey home for Sunday when the roads will be a little lighter in terms of travel.  

We don’t recommend trying to leave immediately after dinner. One, that’s rude, but also keep in mind that many crazy shoppers will be racing on the roads towards their pre-Black Friday sales Thursday night.


We at Hirschfeld Apartment Homes in Maryland wish everyone safe travels.

Don’t forget to pack appropriately for your road trip & plan ahead to avoid road rage during those heavily traveled days.

Good luck, drive safe, and enjoy the Turkey!

when is the best time to travel around thanksgiving