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Thanksgiving Travel Hacks

20 Nov

Thanksgiving Travel Hacks 

The holidays are an exciting time, but they can quickly become overwhelming. And if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving, you have a higher chance of dealing with added stress and hassle. Don’t let your travel plans ruin your holiday. Instead, follow these four essential Thanksgiving travel hacks to make the holidays less chaotic. 

1 | Choose Your Transportation Wisely 

The mode of transportation you choose is ultimately up to your preference. Whether you travel by train, car, or plane, each has perks and cons. Below, we discuss the most popular methods of travel for the holiday season. 

Travel by Train 

Traveling by train is not a super common way to get around in the United States. But this is precisely why it may be the best mode of transportation for the holiday season. In fact, only 2 to 3 percent of holiday travelers choose the less popular transport by bus, ship, or train. 

So, if you’re trying to avoid the chaotic airport or the insane traffic on the roads, your ultimate Thanksgiving travel hack is to travel by train. 

Tips for Traveling by Train for Thanksgiving: 

  • Always check for deals and discounts. For instance, having an AAA card will often shave some cash off your ticket price. 
  • Arrive about 30 minutes early to ensure you’ll have time to find your platform. 
  • Dress comfortably for the long ride. Wear stretchy clothing and comfy shoes, and bring a blanket or pillow from home if you’d like. 
  • Remember to enjoy the ride! Sit back, relax, and take in the scenic views out the window. 

Get There by Car 

If you’re traveling by car, no matter the distance, be ready for an early start. More than likely, traffic will be pretty backed up. Many families travel by car over the holidays, especially for Thanksgiving. 

One of the best things you can do if traveling by car is to over-prepare. Create a music playlist that will cover almost double the time you plan to be on the road and don’t forget to pack snacks! 

Tips for Traveling by Car for Thanksgiving: 

  • Avoid being on the roads around 4 PM, especially on Thanksgiving Day. The best time to travel is either late at night or early in the morning, around 6 AM. 
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks. The last thing you want to do is extend your travel time to stop to get food and beverages in the middle of a traffic jam. 
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before you drive. Some say that a sleepy driver is just as dangerous as one under the influence. 
  • Play high-energy music or listen to an engaging podcast or audiobook. It is essential to stay alert while driving for long periods. 
  • Consider bringing along a driving buddy. That way, you can switch drivers partway through your travels. 

Soar by Plane 

Traveling by plane is often necessary when you are planning a long-distance trip. However, airports can quickly become overwhelming and stressful. Avoid ruining your holiday spirit by being prepared the best you can for your flights. 

Additionally, if you’re looking for the cheapest flight around Thanksgiving, you may want to consider traveling on Thanksgiving Day. Flights are often more affordable because they are in less demand. Most people prefer not to travel on the actual holiday and book their flights for days before and after. 

Tips for Traveling by Plane for Thanksgiving: 

  • If possible, don’t check your bags. There’s always a chance your bags will be lost. And while they should eventually find your luggage and send it to you, it can take a few days. 
  • Pay the extra money for a good seat and some peace of mind. If you’re an anxious traveler, you’ll thank yourself for this luxury. 
  • Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in, go through security, and find your gate. 
  • Try to arrange for a friend or family member to drop you off and pick you up. That way, you don’t have to spend extra cash on car rentals, Uber, taxi rides, or parking your vehicle at the airport. 

2 | Get an Early Start 

No matter how you choose to travel, plan to get an early start. It’s better to be waiting around at the train station or airport than to be rushing not to miss your scheduled flight or ride. Plus, there’s no way you can accurately predict how busy the roads, airways, or train stations will be. In this case, you’re better off playing it safe than sorry. Getting an early start will allow you to take your time and reduce massive amounts of stress and hassle. 

3 | Be Prepared 

Whether you’re traveling solo or with a car full of kids, be prepared. First, it’s a wise idea to pack plenty of snacks and beverages. More importantly, bring some water with you to stay hydrated and feeling good. 

Furthermore, if you are traveling with kids, don’t forget to pack some activities to keep them happy and occupied. This could be an iPad, their favorite book, music, coloring pages, or whatever travel-friendly activity your children enjoy. 

If you’re traveling alone, remember to bring a novel, magazine, or something similar. While you could always scroll through social media, this isn’t usually a good idea. Being consumed by social media posts can ramp up an individual’s anxiety which is not a smart move for travel. 

4 | Maintain a Positive Attitude 

Remember to be kind and optimistic during your travels. Perhaps this is one of the most critical Thanksgiving travel hacks. Not only will it benefit you, but it will make travel a lot easier and more enjoyable for those around you. 

Wish your flight attendant and other staff a Happy Thanksgiving with a warm and bright smile. The holiday season is different for everyone, and you never know how they may feel. So, it’s best to keep it upbeat and light. 


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