Ready, Set, Thanksgiving! Timing Is Everything

AP Images

Whether Grandma’s house is over the river and through the woods, followed by a 5-hour flight, or just two exits off the freeway, the time you hit the road can make a huge difference. You won’t be alone on the roads on Wednesday when people take off from work and others head out for their holiday. It’s always a good idea to map out your trip, check your route with a service like Google Maps on your computer or smartphone or with your Waze app.

Road and Air Traffic

According to Waze data from last year, the heaviest Thanksgiving week traffic will be on Tuesday the 21st around 5 p.m. Then they say that roads will be full the Monday after Turkey Day from 7 a.m until 5 p.m. You’ll hit the biggest airport crowds on Tuesday and Wednesday, then again on Monday.

If you’re going to be in a touristy area like San Francisco, here’s a handy timetable for most congested drive-times (all p.m.):

Tues     Wed     Thanksgiving         Fri       Sat     Sun      Mon

4-6         2-4              noon-2             2-4       3-5      1-3        4-6

Grocery Shopping

OK. So everyone’s coming to YOUR place. Your slowdown could be at the supermarket. If you can avoid being at the store on Wednesday around 3 p.m., you’ll save yourself some time. There’s a lot to be said for shopping early. Ordering your bird makes it even safer. One Thanksgiving, my local store ran out of turkeys. So did 3 others. We almost opted for duck that year!

Don’t forget the whipped cream and those crispy onions to top your green bean casserole–and cranberry sauce. Of course, make enough for leftovers!


Photos: AP Images



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