How To Survive Thanksgiving Travel

Roast turkey on dinner table

The holiday season is officially in full swing! The busiest travel time of the year is coming up. Thousands are rushing to get home, the airport is full of people and grocery stores are populated with last-minute shoppers. This year’s holiday rush may be more hectic than ever before. Don’t miss the turkey! Be home just in time for Thanksgiving Dinner. Here are some tips to ease your travel and prevent any road bumps that may happen on the way–literally and figuratively.

  1. Plan Ahead
    This tip may sound too obvious but there are many factors we tend to overlook. Many travelers  leave days before before Thanksgiving. This surge means that a bulk of travelers have already left before the holiday. According to travel experts, the best day to travel for Thanksgiving is on Thanksgiving. If you can’t get leave days before, avoid traveling on Wednesday and consider leaving Thursday morning when most have already reached their final destination. Even better, most airlines offer reduced fare options to travel on holidays.
  2. Leave Early
    If you’re flying, leave to the airport extra-extra early. There’s nothing worse than missing your flight when you have turkey on your mind. The traffic on the way to the airport, parking, checking in, going through security, getting coffee, etc., already take a long time so imagine that times a 100. The web can also be a huge time saver. Avoid long lines and print boarding passes at home, check-in through kiosks or use your smartphone to pull up your pass. Driving? If you can, avoid leaving on Wednesday and Sunday. Plan your route ahead, leave during off-peak hours and check the forecast before to be prepared for any rain or snow that may occur ahead. Lastly, be sure to gas up the night before.
  3. Travel Light
    Some airlines charge for bags so pack light and carry on your bag of essentials. Carrying on will save you time at the airport and will cost less. Because of unpredictable weather conditions, flights tend to be delayed and even canceled. Having the necessities with you will make it less stressful and hopefully make the time go by faster. Don’t forget! Make sure your liquids and gels are in 3.4-ounce containers or smaller.
  4. Double and Triple Check
    Anything could happen during the busiest travel time of the year so staying updated on your airline and freeways is always a good idea. Don’t forget to check your flight status for delays and flight changes. Airlines and airports usually post updates on their social media so be sure to follow them to stay in the loop. You can also download the apps FlightStats, Tripit  or GateGuru to easily access essential information about your status, airport overviews and more.
  5. Go Through Security Quickly
    Knowing TSA requirements will surely speed up the process. Remember to place your liquids in a plastic baggy, take off your shoes and jackets and place metal and other objects such as laptops and cell phones in separate bins. Avoid wearing a lot of jewelry and shoes that take a long time to put on and take off.

Last But Not Least!

  • Have your ID, credit card, cash and boarding pass easily accessible. You don’t want to hold up the line scrummaging through your belongings and annoying everyone behind you in the midst of it all.
  • Make sure your devices are charged! With outlets becoming harder to snag and flight delays increasing, your cell phone battery is something you don’t want on low.
  • Pack snacks! Save time and money. Airport food prices are off the charts and so are the lines to get a pick-me-up. Prevent any hangry (hungry + angry) symptoms by packing something to munch on.
  • Remember to be nice to workers this holiday week. They’re working while you’re off to see your family and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
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