Travelers with plans of long trips throughout Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season can now plan their routes by using Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) holiday travel charts to determine the best time to travel.
The chart can be found at wsdot.wa.gov/travel/holiday-weekend-travel/thanksgiving-weekend-travel-times. According to WSDOT, drivers should expect delays on most major routes including Interstate 90, US 2, and I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma and from Bellingham to the Canadian border.
WSDOT stated most construction will be posted over the four-day weekend in order to reduce congestion, but notes Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest traveling weekends of the year. Planning ahead can provide drivers with extra time and preparation for the roads and potential obstacles ahead.
People can follow WSDOT on various social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and X (priorly known as Twitter). WSDOT’s mountain pass webpage also provides information on pass updates or the latest chain and traction tire requirements.
People can also pre-program vehicle radios to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts — and be alert for other stations listed on notice signs in some areas.
In the Puget Sound region, weekend toll rates will be in effect Thursday, Nov. 23, on the state Route 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on Thanksgiving. Out-of-town travelers, including those using rental cars, can learn about toll roads and temporary account payment options on the Good To Go! visitor page.
People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound (or onto an island) Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 22-23, then eastbound (or off an island), Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger. Visit the Washington State Ferries website for more details on sailings schedules, vehicle reservations, ferry alerts and terminal conditions.
Trains, airports and transit
Travelers making a trip by train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:
Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Trains are running between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene, Oregon, stopping at 18 stations along the way. Buses also are available for travel between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia and between Seattle and Bellingham. Visit AmtrakCascades.com/ or call 800-USA-RAIL for tickets and schedules.
For information about traveling via state-sponsored airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/travel/aviation/airports-list or call 360-788-7437.
Check with local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays.
• Popular holiday travel charts: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/holiday-weekend-travel/thanksgiving-weekend-travel-times
• Online tools: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/mobile-app-and-social-media
• WSDOT mobile app: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/mobile-app-and-social-media
• Traffic cameras: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/cameras
Email alerts: public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new
• Online traveler information: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/
• Real-time travel map: wsdot.com/Travel/Real-time/Map
• Social media platforms: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/mobile-app-and-social-media
• Safety rest areas: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/roads-bridges/rest-areas
• Winter travel essentials: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/emergencycarkit
WSDOT mountain passes: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/
Winter travel: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/winterdrivingtips
• Winter weather driving conditions: wsdot.wa.gov/publications/fulltext/winter/winter-driving-guide.pdf
• Sign up: service.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new
• Posted chain requirements: wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/tiresandchains
• Traction tires or chains: wsp.wa.gov/driver/vehicle-equipment-requirements/
• Charts: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/holiday-weekend-travel/thanksgiving-weekend-travel-times/i-90-travel-charts
• Visitors page: mygoodtogo.com/EN/learn/how-to-pay/visitors
Washington State Ferries website: wsdot.wa.gov/travel/washington-state-ferries wsdot.wa.gov/travel/washington-state-ferries