If you are traveling to or through Chicago this Thanksgiving, be prepared: According to Google’s traffic data analysis, Chicago is the seventh worst U.S. city when it comes to heavy, sluggish holiday traffic. It’s also one of the top three trending cities for holiday air travel, so expect crowds at the airport.
Avoid Traffic Jams and Crowds Beforehand
Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving Day, is typically the heaviest holiday travel day. If you can avoid driving or flying to your holiday destination on Wednesday, it may save you a great deal of frustration.
If you must drive on Wednesday, try to plan your schedule to miss major cities between the hours of 3 P.M. and 5 P.M., as traffic is typically at its peak during these hours.
To beat the midday rush in any city, plan your trip with a departing time before 2 P.M. or after 7 P.M.
Twenty percent or more of holiday flights leave on November 25th, meaning airport crowds will be at their heaviest on Wednesday. If you are flying, give yourself extra time to check in and get through security. Plus, waiting to travel on Thanksgiving Day can save you an average of $40 per trip.
Missing Traffic on Your Way Home
According to Google’s traffic data analysis, if you’re traveling home on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, you may experience much worse traffic than if you waited until Sunday to depart. Traffic on Saturday may be up to 40 percent worse than Sunday traffic.
Despite Black Friday shopping crowds, the roads are not expected to be crowded the Friday following Thanksgiving. Leaving for home on Friday will also help you avoid holiday travel traffic.