In fact, they reported that 89% of travelers will be doing so by car - that's 45.5 million people (1.6 million in Michigan alone) on the road Nov. 22 - 26. With a number that big, you can expect plenty of traffic and delayed travel times, unless you know the best times for Thanksgiving travel to help you avoid it.
It’s a bad idea to travel on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If you're thinking about getting an early head start, think again. AAA has reported the worst times for travel are on Tuesday 3:00pm-5:30pm (Detroit), and almost all day Wednesday 7:00am-8:00pm! If you don't mind the traffic, you could still get a head start, but be wary of other drivers on the road. Many others will be rushing out of the city to make it to their destination and will often be more distracted, especially if they've got a full car.
It’s a good idea to travel on Thanksgiving Day
Thursday might not sound like an ideal day to travel on for Thanksgiving, but if you’re looking to avoid traffic jams then Turkey Day is actually your best bet. Most families will already be at their destinations, leaving wide-open roads for you to cruise on while you dream of turkey.
It's a bad idea to travel home on Sunday.
Looking to get the most out of your Thanksgiving holiday? Stick around till Sunday afternoon and spend time with family, then have a leisurely trip home. Again, the common theme is: think again. The worst time to travel back home is on Sunday 12:00pm-8:00pm, because of the large number of travelers that will be on the road. Depending on where you're coming from and what cities you'll be driving through, you could leave early in the morning or Saturday evening instead!You can make your trip more enjoyable by know the best days for Thanksgiving travel, but you should also consider other influences on the quality of your trip. Take a look at these other Turkey Day travel tips to ensure you have a peaceful drive:
- Take a look at the weather forecast before you hit the road. Knowing what road conditions to expect will help you decide on what routes to take, what traffic to expect, and when optimal times for departure will be.
- Map out your route before you leave so you’re aware of areas construction is taking place. This will help you avoid areas of possible congestion and you’ll be more familiar with alternate routes.
- Have contact information for a roadside assistance service. Having this information on hand will put you at ease as you make the long drive, and should something happen to your vehicle you’ll be ready to make a call.
- Make sure your vehicle is ready to make the drive to your destination. You can read our seasonal car care tips on our website or visit our Express Service Lane where our technicians can handle any auto service your vehicle may need before you hit the road.