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Google's tips for Thanksgiving traffic and more tech tools to help with holiday travel

 / Updated 

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Whether you are heading out by air or car, manage the notorious beast that is holiday travel with a brand new tool from Google — and three other apps to help you get where you're going (relatively) painlessly. 

  Alexandra Gl / Today

Manage traffic

On Tuesday, Google released Google Maps traffic information for cities around the country to help you navigate the chaos on the roads. It uses data from the Monday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after from the last two holiday seasons to help you plot the most rational course. 

A few immediate Thanksgiving travel takeaways:

  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the worst traffic day.
  • The worst traffic period on that day is between 3 and 5 p.m. — so leave before or after that window to avoid the madness. 
  • If you're driving home after a holiday weekend away, traffic patterns show that Sunday is a much better bet than Saturday, when traffic can be 40 percent worse. 

See more on Google's traffic research here to avoid gridlock-related rage. 

Get the best seat

If you’re traveling by air instead of car, give yourself a fighting chance at comfort with SeatGuru. The site helps you discover the best seats for your needs on each flight, and lets you know about any drawbacks — like limited recline or legroom. It also helps you understand the amenities on your plane, like power outlets and Wi-Fi.

Pack efficiently

If you’re traveling for the weekend, don’t leave anything important behind. Use the free Pack the Bag app to customize packing lists depending on type of destination, length of trip, number and type of family members traveling, and other details. It even sets packing reminders so you know when to get started on the (daunting) task.

Organize your itinerary

Forget trying to corral a bunch of bits of paper, or dig clumsily into your email to manage all of your trip details. TripCase allows you to store all your travel info in one place, including dinner reservations, hotel bookings and more. Use it to share plans with loved ones, get instant alerts about flight changes and receive updated weather info for your travel destination.

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook,Google+ andTwitter.

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