Best and worst times to hit the road in Tampa Bay for Thanksgiving

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This week, nearly 45 million people will pack up their cars and head out of town to enjoy a feast with family and friends.

So make the most out of your holiday hours, whether it’s traveling or shopping, and hit the road at the right time.

Google Maps looked at travel data from past Thanksgivings to figure out when the streets were jam-packed and when they were quiet.

Here are the best and worse times to be in the car if you’re driving in or out of the Tampa Bay area.

Pretty much wherever you’re headed and wherever you’re leaving from, Wednesday late afternoon is the busiest time to be on the road. But this time is especially bad for folks in the Tampa Bay area.

In all the major metro areas, including Tampa, the best time to leave for your trip is Thanksgiving Day itself early in the morning. The suggested time is around 6 a.m.

The best and worst times to return from your road trip varies from city to city, but for Tampa Sunday morning is looking to be the clearest time.

No one wants to hit traffic on their way home so if you’re coming back into the Tampa Bay area, definitely try to avoid being out and about Saturday in the late afternoon.

Travel safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving! For more info about travel times in your area, click here.


Stay with WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross for the latest trending news straight from social media provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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