Best Thanksgiving Travel Times 2021

Earlier today, the Maryland Transportation Authority gave guidance on the best times to travel this week.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) recently released some guidance for holiday travelers this week. The department outlined advice around Maryland’s cashless toll roads and the best times to avoid congestion.

Paying Tolls

Maryland no longer accepts cash along any of its toll roads. Travelers pay tolls electronically via three methods:

  • E-ZPass: E-ZPass is a pre-paid electronic transponder that travelers purchase ahead of time and place on the dashboard of their vehicle. E-ZPass saves travelers on average 77% more versus the higher rates and additional paperwork that come with Video Tolls. Enroll in E-ZPass today at
  • Pay-By-Plate: Tolls are automatically billed to the driver’s registered credit card as they use Maryland toll facilities, with no need for a transponder or pre-paid toll deposit.
  • Enroll in Pay-By-Plate today at
  • Video Tolling: Video Tolling occurs for any trips not paid with a valid E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate at the time of travel. With Video Tolling, a Notice of Toll Due is generated and sent to the vehicle’s registered owner for standard Video Toll rates.

Peak Travel Times

Below are the best times to travel on the Bay Bridge. 


  • Tuesday, November 23, through Friday, November 26  – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and
  • Monday, November 29 – before noon and after 9 p.m.


  • Tuesday, November 23, and Wednesday, November 24 – before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m.;
  • Thursday, November 25, through Sunday, November 28 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.; and
  • Monday, November 29 – before 5 a.m. and after 2 p.m.

Below are the best times to travel on I95. 

  • Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24 – before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.;
  • Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 – before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.; and
  • Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Stay Safe During the Holiday

  • Allow for extra time to get to your destination.
  • Obey speed limits. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of a crash.
  • Devote your full attention to driving and maintain a safe following distance. Food, phones or other things that can take your focus away from the road ahead can be distractions.
  • Move over for emergency vehicles. State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow, or amber flashing lights. If you cannot safely move over, slow down to a safer speed.
  • Make sure your vehicle is road-ready. A breakdown can create a backup within seconds. If your vehicle breaks down, exit the roadway. If that isn’t possible, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
  • Use caution while traveling in work zones.

Read MDTA’s full Press Release.