The Best and Worst Days for Christmas Holiday Travel 2023

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I-5 Traffic | I-5 Exit Guide

Planning to hit the road during the 10-day holiday stretch? INRIX, the transportation data and insights provider, predicts some days with potentially heavy traffic. The peak congestion is expected on Saturday, December 23, and Thursday, December 28. Additionally, Saturday, December 30, may have increased traffic as people return from holiday trips or head out for New Year’s Eve.

For smoother travels, aim to drive before lunchtime or after 7:00 pm. INRIX suggests that nationwide travel times could be up to 20% longer this holiday season, with major cities like Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC potentially facing double the usual delays. Transportation analyst Bob Pishue advises avoiding peak commuting hours and utilizing traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services to ease holiday travel stress.

Keep in mind that the listed times are in the local time zone of each metro area. For instance, Atlanta routes follow Eastern Time (ET), while Los Angeles routes adhere to Pacific Time (PT).

Here’s a quick guide to the best and worst times to travel by car:

DateWorst Time to TravelBest Time to Travel
Saturday, December 2311:00 AM to 7:00 PM,Before 10:00 AM
Sunday, December 24Minimal Traffic Impact ExpectedMinimal Traffic Impact Expected
Monday, December 25Minimal Traffic Impact ExpectedMinimal Traffic Impact Expected
Tuesday, December 261:00 PM to 5:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Wednesday, December 271:00 PM to 7:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Thursday, December 282:00 PM to 8:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Friday, December 292:00 PM to 8:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Saturday, December 305:00 PM to 7:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Sunday, December 31Minimal Traffic Impact ExpectedMinimal Traffic Impact Expected
Monday, January 01Minimal Traffic Impact ExpectedMinimal Traffic Impact Expected

What’s happening on Interstate 5 RIGHT NOW! I-5 Real-time traffic information for selected cities along I-5. Maps show updates on road construction, traffic accidents, travel delays and the latest traffic speeds. Traffic cameras show congestion at a glance. Visit I-5 Traffic.


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