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These are the worst times to drive and shop this Thanksgiving

  • GPS navigation software company Waze analyzed searches from last November to determine when the roads and airports will be busiest this holiday.
  • You can check which roads will see the most traffic nationally, as well as individual U.S. cities.
  • Congestion is also expected to increase around Black Friday, with electronics stores and fashion retailers set to be popular destinations.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Elf On the Shelf Balloon.
Source: Macy's
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Elf On the Shelf Balloon.

If you're looking to travel home this Thanksgiving, try to avoid the roads at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

That the word from Waze, the GPS navigation software company, which released traffic predictions for this year based on data it gathered from its 90 million active users' daily drives last November.

Pre-holiday airport travel is also expected to see a jump in the two days before Thanksgiving. Waze expects searches for routes to airports will rise by 50 percent on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and by 66 percent on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Traffic to supermarkets is expected to reach its height at 3 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving.

The worst time to travel after Thanksgiving nationally will be Monday, Nov. 27 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Traffic is also expected to increase on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 26, particularly around 2 p.m.

Waze also broke out specific data for major U.S. cities, shown in the chart below.

Worst times to drive around Thanksgiving by city

City Tues., Nov. 21 Wed., Nov. 22 Thurs., Nov. 23 Friday, Nov. 24 Sat., Nov. 25 Sun., Nov. 26 Mon., Nov. 27
Atlanta 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 3 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 3 - 4 p.m. 3 - 4 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
Boston 3 - 5 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 11 - 1 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m.
Chicago 3 - 5 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m.
Dallas 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 11 - 1 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
Los Angeles 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 3 - 5 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
New York 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 1 - 3 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
San Francisco 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 2 - 4 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
Philadelphia 3 - 5 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 2 - 4 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m.
Washington, D.C. 4 - 6 p.m. 2 - 4 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 2 - 4 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
Miami 4 - 6 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
National 4 - 6 p.m. 3 - 5 p.m. 12 - 2 p.m 2 - 4 p.m. 2 - 5 p.m. 1 - 3 p.m. 4 - 6 p.m.
Source: Waze Data

"We're trying to provide information that we feel is applicable to most people in the U.S." said Julie Mossler, a spokeswoman at Waze.

The average driver spent $37 on gas over Thanksgiving weekend last year, based on data from Bank of America credit and debit account transactions.

Black Friday

Based on last year's data, Waze expects searches for directions to retail locations to start late during the night of Thanksgiving. Routes to stores are expected to peak from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, with 1 p.m. being the busiest time.

Consumers are expected to flock to electronics stores, with Waze predicting a 208 percent increase in travel to them versus a typical Friday in November. Fashion retailers should see a 50 percent increase in shoppers, according to Waze data.

Top retailers that Waze users search for include Best Buy, Costco, The Home Depot, Target and Wal-Mart.

The most popular restaurants frequented by Waze users on Black Friday include Chick-fil-A, McDonald's and Panera Bread.

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