The Best and Worst Times to Drive for Thanksgiving, According to AAA

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The calendar says Thanksgiving is next week, which means a large part of the country will hit the road to share a meal with out-of-town family or friends — kicking off a third holiday season of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Used to be.

So, how many people are we talking about? American Automobile Association (AAA, aka ​”Triple A”) is predicting that 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving—A 1.5% increase compared to 2021, 98% of pre-pandemic figures. really, AAA Projects 2022 will be the third busiest Thanksgiving travel weekend since the organization began tracking these numbers in 2000.

AAA defines the “Thanksgiving holiday travel period” as the five-day stretch from Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27, and have recently released their travel forecast for each day. These are the best and worst times to start your Thanksgiving road trip.

Best and worst times to travel by car during Thanksgiving weekend 2022

If your Thanksgiving weekend travel plans currently involve getting in the car and flying it, you might want to reconsider—especially if you’re visiting on the Wednesday afternoon before the holiday, which is when AAA estimated Traffic will be at peak.

Instead, take into consideration what their experts predict will be the best and worst times to hit the road that weekend:

Wednesday, November 23

  • worst time: 11 am to 8 pm
  • right moment: Before 8 AM / After 8 PM

Thursday, November 24

  • worst time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • right moment: Before 11 am / After 6 pm.

Friday, November 25

  • worst time: 4-8 PM
  • right moment: Before 11 am / After 8 pm

Saturday, November 26

  • worst time: 4-8 pm
  • right moment: Before 2 PM / After 8 PM

Sunday, November 27

  • worst time: 4-8 pm
  • right moment: Before 11 am / After 8 pm

These are AAA’s nationwide predictions, but if you live in a major metropolitan area, peak congestion may occur on a different day or time, depending on the city’s traffic patterns. AAA has info on it hereincluding those corridors where the worst traffic is likely to occur.

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