BOSTON (CBS) — If you’re one of the nearly 50 million Americans planning a road trip Thanksgiving week, you know the battle to beat traffic is often a losing one.

But Google is offering a few helpful tips. The search engine has culled information from its Trends and Maps tools to determine when the best and worst times are to hit the road during the Thanksgiving travel period.

When to hit the road for Thanksgiving (Image credit Google)

When to hit the road for Thanksgiving (Image credit Google)

If you’re hoping to miss the traffic gridlock, Google says the best time to leave is 6 a.m. on Sunday, and you should head home at 6 a.m. on Friday.

The worst time to leave for Thanksgiving destinations? Google pegs that at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. It declares that the worst time to return is 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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Planning to fly to grandma’s this year? Good luck. Google says airport traffic is 60 percent worse this time of year, and made a map of when you’ll want to try to get to the nation’s most popular airports.

Thanksgiving airport travel data (Image credit Google)

Thanksgiving airport travel data (Image credit Google)

AAA says this is likely to the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in nine years.

Comments (5)
  1. Aharon Grossman says:

    That is really not helpful at all. Of course Sunday is the best time. Last week would be even better. In this day and age we can predict with much better resolution than that. But if you go to Google Maps and look at the predicted drive times, they treat Wednesday the 21st like any other weekday. Very disappointing!

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