Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Keep Your Cool in the Chaos

Thanksgiving Travel - how to keep your cool

Thanksgiving kick starts the winter season and is one of the busiest times of the year. But sometimes getting to the big feast can be extremely stressful! So here are some Thanksgiving travel tips to enjoy the season of thankfulness.

Thanksgiving is one of the most quintessentially American holidays, as we remember the original Thanksgiving feast of 400 years ago. But aggravating holiday traffic also seems to be a part of the turkey day holiday traditions.

When Is the Busiest Travel Day of the Year?

To any of us who have sat in traffic in late November, it comes as no surprise that the day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. This year AAA Travel estimates 53.4 million Americans will be traveling for Thanksgiving, which means 6.4 million more Thanksgiving travelers than last year. With millions vaccinated and COVID cases dropping, many families who stayed apart last year will be getting together to celebrate and be thankful.

Since this is quite a traffic-heavy occasion on the road or in the air, get some good audiobooks to keep you company. Though the roads are busy throughout the period, the busiest Thanksgiving travel day is Wednesday before the big day.

But a few simple preparations will help keep you make the most out of the travel pandemonium.

What Are Some Travel Tips for the Day Before Thanksgiving?

There’s no doubt that travel is bound to be more stressful around this popular holiday. Share the following tips for traveling with others on FamilyApp to make your Thanksgiving Day a little smoother!

  • Plan Ahead of Time – Leaving things to the last minute will always cause problems when it comes to getting away. Knowing what you’re doing early means you can get lower airline rates and get the flight you want. When travel time comes, it will go a long way towards really enjoying your trip! 
  • Stay up-to-date with traffic patterns- If you’re driving, use apps like Waze or Google Maps. They’ll often tell you when the best time to leave will be to minimize traffic. Pack travel snacks to stay the course! Audiobooks, great music, and other games for road trips help make the drive that much more enjoyable, too!

What Are Some Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Flying?

While a lot more Americans are taking domestic and international flights than a year ago, you should definitely expect flight delays when planning Thanksgiving travel. Domestic flights should be especially full as many are reunited with family members for the first time in many months. Don’t forget to budget some extra time into your travel plans for arriving at the airport early in anticipation of an onslaught of holiday travelers.

  • Pack Light– It might seem like a pain to squish all of your stuff into a small carry-on bag. However, checking your bag means you’ll have to spend more time at the airport. There’s also the chance that your bag will get lost! If you stick to packing the essentials, you can save yourself a lot of extra airport aggravation. But if you end up checking a bag, make sure you have an extra toothbrush, deodorant, and clean pair of underwear in your carry-on. 
  • Download an app for your flight – It can be pretty irritating to run into people all over the place who are staring at their phones. But, travel apps that help you get airport information ahead of time can cut down on traveler stress! If you’re arriving at a new destination, you can easily get airline maps, track your flight, and check-in. You can also use travel apps to skip the phone line and rebook your flight, should you need to.
  • Flying Out? – If you really want to get away from the busy holiday traffic, consider heading back on Friday. Most people will be on the roads over the weekend so it can improve your Thanksgiving travel safety odds. You’ll also have the weekend to recuperate from all the turkey. Be sure to share this Thanksgiving travel tip with other travelers on your favorite family app!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Enjoy Your Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. So be prepared ahead of time whether you’re flying, driving, or taking public transportation. Be sure to budget some extra time if you can for unintentional delays. And make the most of your time together as a family if you’re stuck in traffic or the airport for longer than you’d like.   

Do you have any Thanksgiving travel advice for making it a less harried holiday? Share it with us in the comments! While there’s no way to keep the crowds at bay completely, a little preparation can make for a better trip.

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