Thanksgiving travel tips from drivers on the road

If you’re hitting the roadways Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving, the earlier the start, the better.

That includes starting your journey overnight, according to drivers at a rest stop on Route 50 in Maryland.

Charles Spires, who’s on his way to Atlanta from the Wilmington area of Delaware, told WTOP’s John Domen that avoiding traffic around D.C. is the big reason to get an early start.

And while gas prices are higher this year, it’s not deterring him.

Linden Parris is headed to Georgia from Brooklyn, New York. He started his trip at 1:45 a.m. because there’s less traffic on the road and he “didn’t want to deal with a lot of congestion on one of the heaviest travel times of the year.”

He’s hoping to get to his destination by 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.

“My wife made a lovely sweet potato pie. I’m looking forward to that,” Parris said.

One thing he said he’s noticed on his trip: increasing gas prices as he goes.

Several other drivers also touted the benefits of driving overnight.

Another New York driver, on his way to Germantown, Maryland, said traveling overnight is all about beating traffic.

“It’s a holiday so you know it’s about to get really busy,” he said. “So far so good.”

He said overnight driving is pretty smooth. “Everyone just kind of stays in their own lane.”

Carrie Zaleski left New Hampshire at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night. She’s on her way to Florida. She said it’s easier to drive at night than during the day, other than all the trucks on the highways.

Zaleski said she’s looking forward to kayaking and surprising her dad, who’s 88, for Thanksgiving.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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