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Map out Thanksgiving with these tips from Google Maps

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For Americans, Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching–which means a time of food, family and fun. As we kick off this holiday season, feast your eyes on our best Google Maps trends and tips to help you save time, reduce stress and navigate the festivities with ease.

Ditch the traffic

Thanksgiving road trips can be special (extended karaoke sesh, anyone?), but they can also be stressful if you end up stuck in traffic. To make sure you don’t get caught in the gridlock, we analyzed 2018 traffic data to pinpoint the best and worst times to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip.

Nationally, we see that the day before Thanksgiving between 3-4 p.m. is the worst time to hit the road, but traffic clears up significantly by 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. To avoid any fowl moods after Thanksgiving, try your best to avoid the Friday or Sunday afternoon rush and leave in the morning when there are significantly less cars on the road. For a closer look at holiday traffic patterns and the best and worst times to leave in your city, make sure to check out our interactive website.

traffic spikes

Avoid the crowds

Holiday crowds can easily transform a quick stop into an hours-long adventure. To save you time, we analyzed Popular Times data at key holiday destinations during Thanksgiving week so you can know exactly when the crowds tend to peak and when to avoid them. Pro-tip: If you hate lines, avoid the grocery store at all costs on Wednesday evening!


Let Google Maps be your ultimate Thanksgiving sidekick

Whether you’re headed to the sun or snow this Thanksgiving, Google Maps is here to help you get around, explore your city and get your holiday to-do list done efficiently–while maintaining your sanity. Check out our favorite tips to keep your Thanksgiving as stress free as possible:

  • Search along your route: If you’re on the road and realize you need to make a stop–say you’re running low on gas or-gasp!-found out the turkey was burned–use Google Maps to search for gas stations, a butcher or other places along your drive so you can tackle your tasks without going too far out of your way. 

  • Share your ETA: No one likes a cold turkey dinner. Let friends and family know when they can expect you with just a few taps. 

  • Find hidden gems: If you’re heading home for the first time in a while or traveling to a new city, use the Explore tab find the best restaurants, sights and events happening in your area. 

  • Don’t get lost: If you’re exploring on foot, Live View can help you figure out which way to walk with arrows and directions clearly overlaid on the map.

  • Stay organized: If you’re traveling by plane, you can easily access your flight reservation–in addition to your car, restaurant, and hotel reservations–right from your settings so you don’t need to search for your confirmation emails.

  • Save precious time: Use the Popular Times feature to see when holiday destinations are most crowded so you can know exactly when to avoid them.

  • Book with just one tap: Whether you’re getting the family together for a holiday meal or activity, book restaurant reservations or tickets right from Google Maps to save time. 

Interested in more holiday trends from Google Maps? Check out for local traffic information and trending places in 25 cities across the country.

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