The day before Thanksgiving will make people in the United States experience the worst traffic of the year; at least data obtained from the previous two years are suggesting so. Those figures are also suggesting that Sunday would be the most convenient day for returning. All these facts have been revealed by Google Maps, Google’s mapping service.

Today, Google Maps released traffic information of 21 US cities in order to warn users about Thanksgiving traffic. The content released by the Google service also includes information on popular searches on Google Maps during, before and after the Thanksgiving Day.


The traffic data put forward by Google Maps include numbers from the Monday before the Thanksgiving Day till the Sunday after the Thanksgiving Day.

As the data was released, Google Maps’ Product Manager Aaron Nelson said that Thanksgiving or any other holiday should always be spent with near and dear ones and not in a car or public transport. He added that Google Maps has put in special efforts to provide its users with details of Turkey Day traffic and search trends to ensure that their Thanksgiving doesn’t get spoilt due to traffic headaches.

According to Google maps, the roads of US cities will experience worst traffic on Wednesday and Saturday would be the worst day for people looking to return. Below are some more information provided by Google Maps.

  • The Wednesday before the Thanksgiving Day will be the worst traffic day; however, there are some exceptions. The worst traffic day for cities like Honolulu, San Francisco and Providence would be Saturday and that for Boston would be Tuesday.
  • Those who are looking to skip the rush should avoid traveling between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday; the best time to leave is before 2pm or after 7pm.
  • The second and third worst traffic day would be Saturday and Tuesday respectively. Friday, on the other hand, will see the roads least busy.
  • Thursday i.e. the Thanksgiving Day will most likely have the lightest traffic. The roads will be most busy between 12pm and 2pm.
  • Traffic patterns of the previous two years reveal that the ideal day to drive back is Sunday. Saturday should be avoided as on that day traffic is expected to be 40% worse.

Must Read: Google Maps: Thanksgiving traffic would be worst on Wednesday

The list below has the name of the 21 cities arranged in descending order based on traffic they will experience during the Thanksgiving week:

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Austin
  3. Washington D.C.
  4. Dallas
  5. New York
  6. Miami
  7. Houston
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Charlotte
  10. Tampa
  11. Los Angeles
  12. St. Louis
  13. San Francisco
  14. Chicago
  15. Honolulu
  16. Portland
  17. Detroit
  18. Seattle
  19. Providence
  20. Boston
  21. Denver