When traveling by road during the holidays, the golden rules are to plan ahead, get an early start, and try to stay composed along the way. This Thanksgiving, Google has given travelers something else to be thankful for this holiday. With recently gathered traffic data tracking travel habits over the holiday weekend, Google has provided tips aimed to help make this year’s trip a smooth ride.

Google suggests that the best day to begin your journey is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this may not be an option for many people. No surprise here: it’s best to avoid traveling during rush hour, beginning at 4:00pm, when traffic is usually at its worst. The only option for many is to leave the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, even though it’s known to be the worst day for travel. Google advises that if you must leave on this day, it’s best to be on the road as early as 6:00 am…the earlier, the better!

When making your way home, the best day to leave is the day after Thanksgiving. If you can plan to leave before Saturday or Sunday, you most likely won’t encounter too much traffic…again…the earlier, the better.

The holidays can bring both joy and stress. Perhaps, thanks to Google, this year’s holiday travel experience will be a little less stressful.