Use This Trick to Avoid Crowds at Shops and Restaurants

Man avoiding crowds while shopping
Photo by Life_imageS / Shutterstock.com

Worried about crowds when shopping for groceries during the pandemic? Plan your outings for 8 a.m. on Mondays. And if you want to visit a restaurant, 3 p.m. on a Tuesday is your best bet.

Those times typically are the least busy periods for those hoping to steer clear of other patrons, according to a Good Maps Trends analysis.

Google used anonymized location history data from its Google Maps program to find out when specific public places in the U.S. have had the most visitors during the pandemic. It then compiled that information to zero in on the best and worst times to venture out for a number of types of public locations.

Here’s the rundown:

Coffee shops

  • Busiest: 10 a.m. Saturday
  • Least busy: 4 p.m. Tuesday

Pharmacies

  • Busiest: 3 p.m. Friday
  • Least busy: 9 a.m. Monday

Grocery stores

  • Busiest: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday
  • Least busy: 8 a.m. Monday

Restaurants

  • Busiest: 6 p.m. Friday
  • Least busy: 3 p.m. Tuesday

Parks

  • Busiest: 4 p.m. Saturday
  • Least busy: 7 a.m. weekdays

Of course, these are general guidelines. If you want more specific data about your favorite haunts, Google can help you find it via a Google Maps feature called “Popular times.” Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on a mobile device.
  2. Search for the place you want to visit. When you see it on the map or the list of search results, tap on it.
  3. Scroll down to the “Popular times” section. There, you will see a chart showing the busiest and least busy times during a given day of the week. If the establishment is open, you also will see a “Live” feature that tells you how busy the location is at the moment.

For more on staying safe from the coronavirus when shopping or simply venturing out, check out:

Of course, the best way to stay safe is to remain behind closed doors, at least until the worst of the pandemic passes. A few retailers have emerged as true favorites among shoppers who love to shop from the comfort of home. To learn more, check out “America’s 3 Favorite Online Retailers During the Pandemic.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet
7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet

For some, the golden years are a time to increase the gold — but their reasons for delaying retirement vary widely.

3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make
3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make

Women face unique challenges when planning for retirement and making these mistakes can result in a skimpier retirement.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep
Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep

A study finds 96% of retirees make this mistake when claiming Social Security benefits.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.