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Leaving Dallas for Thanksgiving? Here's when you should hit the road

The report also looked at the optimal time to avoid bakeries, grocery stores, and liquor stores.
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DALLAS — Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means spending time making food with family and friends – and also traveling.

Everyone knows all too well that Wednesday and Thursday on Thanksgiving week are stressful days on the road, which is why Google Maps analyzed 2018 traffic data to pinpoint the “best and worst time to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip.”

The tech giant also analyzed the best and worst times to visit a grocery store, a shopping center, when to go Black Friday shopping and other trends and tips for navigating efficiently during the holiday season.

The interactive study shows that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the worst times to travel on the road, as traffic is piled high during these times. However, Black Friday traffic around 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. is similar to a normal Friday morning commute.

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Here’s a list of the best and worst times to leave Dallas for your Thanksgiving road trip:

Wednesday, Nov. 27:

· Worst time: 4 p.m.

· Best time: 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Thursday, Nov. 28:

· Worst time: 12 p.m.

· Best time: 6 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 29:

· Worst time: 4 p.m.

· Best time: 6 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 30:

· Worst time: Around 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

· Best time: 6 a.m.

The report also shows when crowds across the country tend to surge at bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, movie theaters and shopping centers.

For instance, bakeries are the busiest at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, while grocery stores are the busiest between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The report also shows that shoppers should avoid the liquor store around 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and that Black Friday shopping reaches its peak at midday.

For its findings, Google analyzed and aggregated anonymized popular times data for its report.

The report was a collaboration between the Google News Initiative, Google Maps and Polygraph. The report considered the “Thanksgiving Holiday Period” to start the Sunday before Thanksgiving and end on the Saturday after, and determined trending places by comparing the total number of searches for places during the week of Thanksgiving to the total number of searches in a similar week a month before.

To determine the traffic conditions, the groups considered the period to start the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and end the Sunday after, excluding noon to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

The report also only looks at daytime hours, and analyzed the volume of cars on the road at a given time, determined by the speed and location of Android phones that have location services enabled. All the information was anonymous and taken in aggregate for 25 U.S. cities.

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