Travel Tips

Here Are the Best and Worst Times for Christmas Travel

Santa drives a car.

Even if your travel plans aren’t already set, it might be time to revisit them. For those driving to their holiday destination, there are some good and bad times to be on the road.

Inrix, a transportation analytics service, and the American Automobile Association examined previous travel, traffic patterns, expected delays, and economic indicators and found the best and worst times to travel by car during the holidays.

For those looking to head out the day before Christmas Eve, you’ll have the best luck if you leave after 7:00 p.m. Be sure to avoid daytime travel between noon and 6 p.m. as well. As for Christmas Eve travel, hit the road before 1 p.m. to avoid congestion and avoid common rush hours from 2-6 p.m.

As for your return trip, every day between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, you’ll need to leave before noon so you’re not sitting in traffic with the post-holiday blues. For those who plan to take a trip for the new year, travel in the early morning on New Year’s Eve or after 5 p.m. As for your return in 2022, avoid the road between 2-6 p.m.

If you’re planning to drive to family or friends’ homes for the holiday, choose your times wisely, and don’t forget to prep your car for travel as well.

[Via USA Today]