Are you traveling for Thanksgiving this year? Don’t stress about it! Traveling on holidays can be a sticky business, but it doesn’t have to be awful. To help you out, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your cool during this Thanksgiving trip. Read on to learn how you can survive Thanksgiving travel!
Tips for Flying:
Get to the Airport Early
Holiday flying can be stressful. The crowds, the lines, the overbooked flights… don’t leave yourself in a lurch by rushing to get to your flight! If you’re flying during the Thanksgiving season, get to the airport at least an hour earlier than you otherwise would have. This will give you plenty of time to park, get through the lines, and navigate the crowds stress-free.
Book your Thanksgiving flights early. The longer you wait to fly during holidays, the more expensive your ticket will be and the worse the seats will be. Everyone wants to go somewhere during this time. Don’t get stuck with the left-overs. Plan ahead, and your bank account and sanity will thank you. This advice may have reached you too late for this year, but be prepared for next year’s travel rush. And, if you haven’t booked for Christmas yet, get on it!
Fly During Low Hours
If you want to keep your Thanksgiving flying stress to a minimum, don’t fly when everyone else is flying. Save money, time, and stress by flying during low hours. If you can stand taking a red-eye rather than a prime-time flight, you’ll find that your experience will be much more pleasant. The airport is slower and more relaxed during off-hours, so you won’t get stuck with the craziness. Of course, it’s still pretty hectic at any time during holiday seasons, but it won’t be as bad as peak hours!
Fly on Thanksgiving Day
Fly on the holiday itself, and you’ll have a much better experience. Can you take off right after Thanksgiving dinner or convince your family to move the festivities to Wednesday? If you can leave (or arrive) on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll find cheaper air fare and a better airport atmosphere.
Don’t Over-Pack… But be Prepared
This is really a travel tip for any time of the year, but it’s especially pertinent for Thanksgiving Travel. To have a good flying experience, you want to make sure you have what you need—and only what you need. Don’t take fourteen outfits on a three-day trip! Don’t pack books you won’t read, crafts you won’t do, or objects you won’t use. Find ways to condense. Can you do laundry during your trip and leave some clothes at home? Can you download your magazines and books onto your phone? Reduce luggage and you’ll be able to move faster and freer.
In the same strain, though, don’t leave essentials at home. There’s nothing more stressful than leaving your driver’s license on the kitchen table (been there) or forgetting to pack a phone charger (done that). To make sure you’re fully prepared for your Thanksgiving flight, make a packing list ahead of time and check off things as you go. That way, you can keep track of what’s already in your bags.
Tips for Driving:
If you’ve ever driven during a holiday before, you know that this can be one of the least pleasant road experiences ever. The traffic, the accidents, the toll lines… the list goes on and on. However, you can avoid a lot of trouble and road rage if you leave early.
The best way to travel for Thanksgiving is to leave many days in advance. If you can leave earlier than everyone else, you’ll find fairly normal road conditions.
If you have to leave on a busy driving day, try to leave early in the morning. Most travelers will spend time getting ready and tracking down all the kids and their luggage. You, however, can pack the car the night before and roll out of bed for an early travel day. Beat the crowds and you won’t have to wait behind them!
Don’t Stop Too Often
It’s always tempting to stop often during road trips. After all, there are so many enticing roadside stops! There are so many restaurants to try, curiosity shops to look in, and weird monuments to check out. Resist the temptation! If you want to arrive on time and with your sanity intact, drive until you absolutely have to stop.
There are a few tricks to this. The most obvious is to make everyone use the bathroom before you leave. Another trick is to schedule your stops so you won’t be tempted to take extra breaks or extra time. Also, opt to pack lunch rather than buy it. Which brings me to my next point…
There are so many reasons to pack lunch rather than buying it on the road! The most obvious is that it’s a lot cheaper to pack lunch. You won’t drop twenty bucks on McDonalds if you have plenty of sandwiches. Secondly, this is a lot faster. Imagine how much time you could save if you have lunch in the car! Everyone can eat when they get hungry. You won’t have to wait at restaurants or in drive-throughs. You won’t have to hit multiple stops to appease picky eaters. And you won’t get lost!
Finally, this is a good idea because it keeps the peace. When travel tension is running high, the last thing you want to do is start a fight about where to eat or get lost because you can’t find Chick-Fil-A.
Download Your Route
I recently discovered this marvelous travel hack. Did you know you can download your travel route from the Google Maps app? This beats both paper maps and GPS! This will massively help you phone’s battery life. Instead of racking up data charges and draining the power, you can have all your routes ready-made and saved to your phone. It’s still interactive, too, so you’ll know where you are.
Follow these travel tips, and you’ll be sure to have a much smoother Thanksgiving trip! What do you do to make holiday travel easier? Let us know in the comments!