7 Essential Travel Tips for Thanksgiving

While the fall season brings a change in leaves, decadent food, and colder weather for most, it also presents challenges for people and families traveling during this time of year.

Thanksgiving, in particular, is one of craziest holidays for travel. With airfare rates soaring sky high and traffic patterns adding hours of extra travel time, the holiday can be overwhelming. Last year alone, AAA projected 50.9 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

To maximize safety, cut unnecessary costs, and reduce travel time, follow these 7 essential travel tips to make the most of your Thanksgiving Holiday:

Plan Everything (You Can) in Advance

Planning everything in advance could lead to shorter travel times. If you have a long travel time ahead, consider packing ample snacks and scheduling meals at restaurants along the way. Schedule a ridesharing service in advance for a more seamless trip to the airport. Check traffic reports to see when roadways are smooth and consider re-organizing your work schedule to accommodate the best travel time.

Divert Distractions

Smartphones, Kindles, iPads, and gaming devices are all useful inventions to help enrich our lives, but they have a time and place. Driving, biking, and walking through the security line all require your full attention. Put the device down to stay focused and prevent a personal injury, especially when outside terrain is wet, slippery, and treacherous.

Pack Smarter

If possible, pack only the essentials in a carry-on for your flight. Doing so can help avoid the dreaded wait at the baggage claim, and prevent the possibility of missing luggage! Rolling, not folding, is also recommended to pack your carry-on to maximize space. Electronics, such as cameras, laptops, and chargers, should always be in your carry-on. Be sure to check TSA regulations and order travel sizes of your favorite toiletries. If you decide to drive to your Thanksgiving destination, make sure to check your vehicle’s load capacity!

Watch the Weather

No matter where you may be coming or going, your airline or travel route might hit delays due to weather conditions. If you’re flying, pack an extra pair of undergarments and toiletries in your carry-on just in case you’re stuck at the airport for longer than expected. If you’re driving, ensure you have an emergency supply kit: snow chains, a flashlight, blankets, emergency food and water, a spare tire, oil, and a radio (yes, they still exist). Consider getting a tune up prior to the holiday to ensure your car is in working order.

Secure Your Home

Many people travel during Thanksgiving, leaving their homes empty. Prevent break ins by asking friends and neighbors to check in, leaving your lights on, and installing security software. With security cameras, such as Ring, you can remotely monitor your home and give you peace of mind.

Consider Credit Card Benefits

Airfare soars during the holiday season, but maximizing credit card benefits could help you cut costs. Airlines, such as Southwest, have credit cards that allow users to accumulate travel points to be used for any flight during the year and never expire. Spending points, earned by using your credit card on everyday purchases, sounds a lot better than $400 out of pocket!

Be Patient

Majority of people traveling on Thanksgiving are going home to see their loved ones. Although the mass influx of travelers can be overwhelming, maintaining a patient and positive mindset is key. Stay calm and collected when traveling as this can help prevent road rage, accidents, and unnecessary stress. You will get to your destination eventually!

Thanksgiving is an exciting time to be with friends and family, or to treat yourself with an exotic vacay. Regardless of where you are going, following these 7 travel tips can help your trip be as enjoyable and seamless as possible. Always remember to prioritize your safety first and getting to your destination on time second.

Author Bio:

Samantha Larson is a passionate adventurer and safety blogger who works in conjunction with injury experts, like Manchin Injury Law Group, to educate the online community about safety, health, and legal news in the travel sphere.

 

Image Source: pexels.com

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