Thanksgiving Traffic Tips

How to avoid Thanksgiving traffic in Austin: The worst times to hit the road

Avoiding Thanksgiving traffic in Austin: Worst times to hit the road

Austin traffic highway I-35 congestion
These helpful tips will help you avoid traffic during the holidays. Courtesy photo

Thanksgiving means plenty of turkey, pies, good times — and traffic. According to Google, Austin is the ninth most congested city during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Luckily, the tech giant has shared some helpful tips on how to avoid traffic during this holiday week by looking at the number of cars on the road and analyzing Google Maps search terms from Thanksgiving 2014. Here are the top tips for traveling with ease:

No matter what your plans are for the holiday, stay off the roads on Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday at 3 pm is the absolute worst time for traffic all week, but you should consider avoiding streets from 2 to 4 pm.

Since Wednesday is the worst day for traffic, hitting the road on Tuesday is a good bet for avoiding traffic. If Wednesday is your only option, Google suggests leaving before 1 pm or after 5 pm. 

Thanksgiving Day has the lightest traffic of the week, with the heaviest congestion expected between noon and 2 pm. Roads will be clear, but local establishments may be hopping. Google Maps searches indicate Austinites will be heading to a movie theater or bar after their Turkey Day feast.

Schedule your return trip for Friday or Sunday. Avoid traveling on Saturday, as traffic on Austin roadways is 13 percent worse than Sunday. Black Friday traffic in Austin is surprisingly lighter than traffic on Tuesday and Saturday, so coming back the day after Thanksgiving could save you some time — and sanity.

For more Thanksgiving travel tips, check out this sweet blog post from Google.