By Stacey Leasca
November 12, 2019

Traveling for the holidays can be a bit stressful. After all, some 48.5 million people took to the roads for a Thanksgiving road trip in 2018 according to AAA, with several million more taking to the air. However, Google Maps wants to have your back this season so you can focus on the joys of eating with your loved ones rather than freaking out over travel.

The tech giant recently unveiled its new time and stress-saving holiday travel tips, and we have to say, they really can help bring down your blood pressure in a holiday pinch.

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“Did you forget to pick up that pumpkin pie at your local bakery? Well, Maps can help you avoid the crowds by using the Popular Times feature to see when holiday destinations like grocery stores, shopping malls, movie theaters, and bakeries are the busiest,” Google shared in a statement. “And, while you’re on your way home, why not share your ETA with grandma and the rest of the family so they know when to expect you. After all, no one likes cold turkey.”

Here are a few other stellar tips Google offered up for having the happiest travel season ever.

Leave Early for Your Thanksgiving Road Trip

At a national level, Google says the busiest travel time for Thanksgiving travel is Wednesday, the day prior to Thanksgiving between 3-4 p.m. If you can, try leaving earlier in the day. If you can’t leave early wait it out as traffic clears up significantly by 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

Plot the Perfect Time to Return Home

To avoid a Thanksgiving travel hangover try your best to avoid the Friday or Sunday rush by leaving in the morning instead. Ideally, get up early and leave by 6 a.m. on Sunday, when there are significantly fewer cars on the road.

Buy Your Pie a Few Days Early

The best time to visit a bakery, Google says, is on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it’s less crowded. Check out the grocery store on Tuesday at 9 p.m., followed by the liquor store on Tuesday at 10 p.m.

Plot to Shop Early on Black Friday

If internet shopping just won’t do it for you, plan to get up with the sun on Black Friday. According to Google, the best time to visit a shopping center is at 7 a.m. The worst time to go is at 1 p.m.

Make the Journey Part of the Trip

Instead of dreading your holiday road trip why not make it a fun experience for everyone? Google has a few tools available to make that happen, like the Explore tab, which helps drivers find new destinations around their route. Drivers can also book activities, restaurants, movie tickets, and more right from Google Maps. So go ahead and get sidetracked. Check out Google’s entire Mapping Thanksgiving project and travel tips here.

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