Thanksgiving Traffic Nightmares

Thanksgiving is a time for relaxing. Sitting stuffed to the gills in front of the TV watching football. But unfortunately to get to this state of food coma bliss you have probably fought bumper to bumper thanksgiving day traffic. There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic whilst you are starving, knowing that at your destination is drool worthy turkey and stuffing ready to go. So this year lets avoid that painful ride and use the internet to skip all the traffic hassle.


Thanks to Google Maps this is achievable. Google has compiled trends from Thanksgiving weekend 2016, based on the places that Google users were asking for directions to the most, as well as what time they were asking. This means you can use their research to get to your calorific meal quicker.

So here are the best tips. If you are going to a Thanksgiving dinner and travelling by car, according to Google you can avoid bumper to bumper traffic by leaving in the morning. Its common for people not to take extra days off for Thanksgiving. So the roads are full from the afternoon onwards. Sure you may get to your destination early, but you get their easier and calmer. Or you could nap in your car close to your destination to truly rest and prepare your stomach for one of its biggest workouts of the year. Or if you have kids, pack a picnic and visit a local park. Either of these options will get you out of helping to prepare the Thanksgiving feast.

This year Thanksgiving is on a Thursday. So you can be sure some people will take a long weekend. Google data showed to avoid traffic on the way home, leave early on either Saturday or Sunday, but beware: Friday and Saturday evenings are the busiest return times.

Google did record some funny trends which involved the places people visited whilst gathered with their families. These are the most popular destinations to visit according to historical Google Maps search data.

  • Ham shops
  • Tree farms
  • Outlet malls
  • Electronic stores
  • Outdoor adventures

The Ham shop? Surely leftover turkey is enough to survive on for the weekend?! But apparently not. If you want to investigate this ham shop phenomenon further in your hometown. Then Google Maps has an interactive map that you can use to search your city trends, look at the traffic trends and map out the best route to your local ham shop. Which no doubt will be filled with all the hometown locals ham shopping.

Lastly and possibly the best use of historical Google Map data is planning your easy getaway at just the right time to get home quickly and match it to your own family historical data – the best time to leave and be the one get the biggest bag of leftovers. If you can match this data up – then 2017 will be the best Thanksgiving so far.