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Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

NJ
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Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

We're staying in Boston for a few days, and leaving to come back to Jersey on Wednesday afternoon sometime. I just realized Thanksgiving is the next day. Should I change my plans? Are the highways and the Tappan Zee horrific on this day? Or will traffic be going the other way??

Boston...
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1. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

It used to be the heaviest traffic day of the year but it seems as though the Friday before Columbus Day (last Friday) has overtaken it. There was a 45 mile backup on the Mass. Pike last Friday afternoon/evening. They think it was a combination of the long weekend, people going to see the foliage, and cars not outfitted with the EZ pass.

If you're traveling the day before Thanksgiving, I'd recommend getting up early and heading out right after breakfast.

Quincy...
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2. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

Traditionally, there is an enormous backup on the day before Thanksgiving, heading west on the Mass Pike to Exit 9, I-84 in Sturbridge. Lately, that backup has been happening on the Tuesday night as well as Wednesday.

When I used to drive home to Long Island for Thanksgiving from Boston, I'd either leave at 11pm Wednesday night, and drive all night, or, I'd leave Boston at 4am Thanksgiving morning and drive through then. Either way, there was no traffic at all.

It's tough to say how bad the traffic will be, but it will be bad. You might want to rethink your plans.

Boston
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3. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

If you can change your plans, that would be a recommendation.

NJ
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4. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

The only thing I can change is to return to NJ on Tuesday night rather than the Wednesday. But, as you pointed out BeanTownMan, that could spell trouble as well.

Check-out at hotel is 12 pm (I'm sure I could stay a little longer), but leaving at 11 pm isn't an option.

What do you guys think?

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

If you can leave Wednesday afternoon, why can't you leave Wednesday morning ... like at 6am ?

NJ
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6. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

Because that would mean leaving Boston -- a city I love -- early than I have to! :-)

I think I'll email the hotel about staying there Sun night and Monday night...and leave Tuesday, not too early. :-)

Funny, we usually go the Friday after thanksgiving and come home Sunday...a little traffic once we get near the Tappan Zee, but other than a little in Connecticut...nothing to complain about.

We THOUGHT (there's the operative word) going early in the week would work out better :-(

Quincy...
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7. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

I used to leave at 11pm because it didn't matter to me and I wanted to be sure all the traffic was done. Even if you leave at 9pm, you would be catching only the tail end of the backups.

If you leave anytime on Tuesday or Wednesday between noon and 9pm, you are going to run into traffic, potentially bad traffic. If you want to avoid traffic, you need to leave before 9am, or just be prepared to sit in some traffic.

Dallas, Texas...
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8. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

Tuesday night will be heavier than normal, but should be better than during the afternoon or evening on Wednesday. A lot of people leave work early on Wednesday. Some have half-days and many leave at various times in the afternoon. The whole afternoon and evening will be terrible.

You mention that leaving late at night isn't an option, but it seems that you think this is due to the hotel? Almost all hotels are willing to hold your bags after check-out, plus you'll have a car to store them. You could have fun during the day, have dinner, maybe relax (or nap) through a movie then hit the road late at night.

Another option would be to leave VERY early Wednesday morning.

NJ
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9. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

All points taken. Going to email the hotel and change our dates :-)

Boston...
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10. Re: Heavy traffic from Boston to NJ day before Thanksgiving?

When traveling the day before or even a few days before, one should just assume the ride will be long and tedious.