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Seven traffic tips to get you to the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving means gearing up for a turkey feast, Thanksgiving Day parades, local Turkey Trots and annual football showdowns. It also means braving some of the worst holiday traffic conditions of the year.

You’ve got enough on your plate this Thanksgiving without having to worry about traffic, too. So, Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving traffic conditions over the last two years for 21 cities across the U.S.1 to find the most useful information to make your holiday trip a little easier.

Whether you’re traveling near or far, Google Maps’ traffic tips will help you navigate the roads like a pro, so you’ll be feasting on Turkey Day delights with friends and family in no time. Here are seven tips in pictures to guide you through the holiday:

1. Avoid traveling on Wednesday:

Thanksgiving traffic 1

2. But if you must leave on Wednesday:

Thanksgiving traffic 2

3. Good news for local travelers—Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze:

Thanksgiving traffic 3

4. Travel back home on Sunday, not Saturday:

Thanksgiving traffic 4

5. Expect to spend more time in traffic than average if you live in these three cities: 

Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. saw the three biggest increases in traffic during Thanksgiving week.

Thanksgiving traffic 5

6. Get these three items ahead of time: 

Last-minute runs to the corner store can be unavoidable as you prep for the big day, but not all last minute trips are created equal.

Thanksgiving traffic 6

7. Leave extra time for Christmas shopping:

Thanksgiving traffic 7

Your biggest worry this Thanksgiving should be whether to go for the cranberry sauce or gravy. And with these traffic tips in hand, plus real-time traffic info provided by Google Maps on Android or iOS, you’ll be spending less time in traffic and more time with the people you care about this Thanksgiving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

1 Google Maps looked at 21 cities across the U.S. from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for both 2012 & 2013: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.

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