This blog post was updated on November 30, 2021.
With Thanksgiving being the busiest travel day of the year, many of us want to know how to make sure our experiences are as much stress-free as possible. Being Thanksgiving and travel two of our favorite things in the world, we’ve rounded up this list of 7 Thanksgiving travel tips that’ll help ensure that you have a relaxing time when you travel over the holiday season!
It’s no secret that the early bird catches the worm. If at all possible, travel a few days before Thanksgiving and you’ll be sure to reduce the chances of stress. If this isn’t an option for you, at the very least be sure to book your airline flights and accommodation as soon as possible. Airports always overbook for Thanksgiving travel and hotels fill up quickly too. Get a head start and leave early whether it’s a road trip or catching a ride to the airport.
It’s always smart to ditch the huge bags if you can and attempt to travel with carry-on luggage only! With so many people flying during the Thanksgiving holiday, you can count on the baggage check-in and baggage claim area being extremely busy. By having carry-on bags only you eliminate the chance of potentially missing your flight due to being delayed at long lines for bag checks; you also get to get off of your flight and not have to waste time waiting for your luggage in the baggage claim area. If you’re anxious about potentially not having enough room for all of your holiday fashions, we’d suggest wearing layers along with your heaviest shoes to the airport. Packing lightly can be scary at first, but once you’ve tried it you’ll quickly realize the benefits it can bring.
Prep Your Car
Are you planning to drive during the Thanksgiving holiday? Taking a few extra steps to prep your car before heading out could make or break your travel experience. With seasonal wet weather beginning to unfurl throughout the country, it’s always a safe bet to be cautious. Be prepared by checking your tires and windshield wipers. Make sure your oil has been changed recently and that you have all of the proper fluids to get you to your desired destination. Create a winter survival kit. Think about what you might need in case of an emergency. Gas prices typically surge during this season and the lines to fill up can be extra-long. Consider purchasing and storing gas in a can a few weeks in advance so that you can avoid the lines and price increases.
Get Enough Sleep
We know what you’re thinking. This might seem like a given, but sometimes you just can’t sleep when your mind’s racing with the countless items on your checklist. A great deal of the time, stress presents itself as a result of sleep deprivation. Attempt to stick to a planned schedule and actually slot in time to get rest. Begin unwinding in advance with a hot cup of chamomile tea. Try playing soothing music in the background while snuggling underneath warm and cozy covers. Having had sound sleep during the week or even days before travel will make a huge difference to your well-being.
You may also like: Major Thanksgiving Travel Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
Download Handy Apps and Entertainment in Advance
It’s always a good idea to load your phone and other electronic devices up with apps and entertainment ahead of time. Look into traveling apps to help you figure out the best routes; avoiding congested areas alone can help to eliminate tons of stress. If you haven’t already, be sure to download the app for the airport and airline that you’re traveling with. This will come in handy for receiving instant notifications about things such as flight delays, gate changes, or even where to go for the best burger in the airport. Having entertainment and nifty apps will help your travel time fly by with ease!
Consider All Routes and Ways of Traveling
You might believe that taking back roads might slow you down, but chances are it could end up being more efficient to take the less traveled route during the Thanksgiving holiday. Traveling at a consistent speed of 50 MPH on a back road sounds much more appealing and less stressful than finding yourself in a traffic jam. On another note, major airports are busier, so consider booking your flights at smaller, less popular airports. This is another great opportunity to bypass the holiday travel crowds! Another option is to consider taking a train. Fewer people opt to take the train this time of the year. While it’s certainly a slower mode of travel, it could offer you a unique experience and hopefully allow you to have a scenic trip while getting a bit of extra rest along the way.
Charge Everything…and Bring Extra Chargers
Don’t forget to charge up all of your electronic devices before heading out! Also, pack some extra power banks and portable battery chargers while you’re at it. During this time of the year, it’s extremely wise to remember that the typical ratio of travelers to outlets at airports and stations will probably not work in your favor. Don’t forget to charge yourself as well. If coffee is your thing, make sure you have your favorite kind. If exercise revs you up, set aside some extra time prior to leaving to make sure you allow this for yourself. If certain reading materials or books are your thing, be sure to bring your faves along.
Needless to say, the roads and skies are definitely crowded this time of the year. But, we hope these Thanksgiving travel tips will help you — and your family and friends — book cheap flights in November at ease during this stressful time of the year!