Food, Travel and Tech

Best and worst times to drive and grocery shop for Thanksgiving, according to Google Maps

Source: Twenty20

If you're planning to stop at the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving, avoid going between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to a new report by Google Maps. The optimal time to go is on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at 9 p.m.

And if you're traveling to see loved ones for Thanksgiving, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the Wednesday before has the worst traffic nationally, while 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day is the best time to head off. After the holiday, you'll want to leave early on Sunday, around 6 a.m., according to the report.

Using Android users' location services data from Thanksgiving week 2018, Google Maps analyzed when traffic will be the best and worst this Thanksgiving. It also used Android users' location history data to determine the peak times when crowds are largest at bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, movie theaters and shopping centers.

The worst time to visit the liquor store nationally is on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, at 5 p.m., and the best is Tuesday before at 10 p.m., according to Google Maps.

For trips to the bakery, the worst time to go is mid-day at around 2 p.m., and the best is 7 p.m. on the Tuesday before.

And on Black Friday, the best time to go to a shopping center is at 7 a.m., and the worst is around 1 p.m.

In addition to national trends, Google Maps created a tool that generates the best and worst traffic times during the Thanksgiving holiday for 26 cities, from Boston to Tampa to Cleveland to Los Angeles. 

For example, in Miami, Florida, the worst time to head out for Thanksgiving travel is Wednesday at 8 a.m., according to Google Maps, while best is Thursday at 6 a.m. The best time to head home after Thanksgiving is Sunday at 6 a.m., while the worst traffic is Sunday at 3 p.m. 

In Minneapolis, the worst time to head out for Thanksgiving travel is Wednesday at 4 p.m., according to Google Maps, and the worst time to head home is Friday at 3 p.m.

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