Mapping Thanksgiving

Brought to you by Google Maps and Google News Lab

For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving means turkey, parades, family, and the road-trip to reach it all. While everyone’s final holiday destination is unique, there are many common stops along the way. Using Google Maps data from 2017’s holiday season, we’re providing insight into the places people visit around the holidays, when to visit them, and the best times to get on (or stay off) the road in 2018.

Popular Visit Times

If there’s one thing we know about the holidays, it’s that lines for popular places can wrap around the block. Take a look at when certain places tend to be the most crowded so you can skip the line and save time.

Traffic Patterns

You may be used to your area’s traffic patterns during a typical week, but holiday travelers move on a different schedule. With typical traffic levels as a baseline, here’s when you can expect traffic to be heavier than normal in your area.

Avoiding Traffic

On a typical weekday, we can try to avoid traffic in our area by staying off the road during rush hour. But when is the rush during a holiday period? With everyone on their family’s unique schedule, it can be hard to pinpoint the best times to travel. Here’s what we recommend based on last year’s Thanksgiving travel data.

When Should I Leave

For My Holiday Road-Trip?

Show me only daytime travel
Before Thanksgiving
  • Best Time:
  • Worst Time:
After Thanksgiving
  • Best Time:
  • Worst Time:

See how traffic changes on different days

Traffic in on

Whether you’re planning to see what all the buzz is about at Wisconsin’s plant nurseries or you’re just trying to skip the gridlock, have a very Happy Thanksgiving.