The Thanksgiving holiday is unquestionably the busiest travel event each year, with notorious transportation setbacks, increased traffic on the road, and travel obstacles meeting commuters at almost every corner. But with a little of forethought when planning your Thanksgiving journey, you can ease travel headaches whether you are heading home or leaving for a drama-free experience. Despite your destination, you will be thankful for these Thanksgiving travel tips.
Flexible Early Birds
Make travel plans early, especially during the busy Thanksgiving holiday. The busiest travel days are Wednesday and Friday, since Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday. If you can fly on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, you will find better fares and fewer travelers.
Pack only what you need. Try not to get distracted by the holiday season when it comes to efficient packing. To help you stay focused, create a packing checklist for everyone traveling, listing appropriate clothing and personal care items. You can find free printable packing checklists online, or just create your own list on a piece of blank paper.
Choose the Best Days for Driving
All statistics point to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as the worst travel day, with the heaviest traffic falling between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. If you have to drive that day, try to start out before 2:00 PM or after 7:00 PM to avoid the peak holiday rush. The same information applies to Friday, especially as the Black Friday crowds increase annually. Unfortunately, now Tuesday and Saturday are becoming increasingly heavy travel days. However, Sunday has traditionally up to 60 percent less traffic than Saturday.
Unless you are traveling to a warm destination, bad weather can upset your carefully planned travel arrangements. Staying informed of travel conditions for each of your destinations, especially if you have a plane change, can help you stay on track. Checking online travel sites and installing smartphone apps can alert you to changes that airlines make last minute. The sooner you are aware of potential travel issues, the more chances you have to find suitable alternatives.
Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze. In fact, it usually has the least traffic of the entire week. However, with low gas prices, more people are driving this year. For that reason, plan out an alternate route, have a connected navigator to avoid distracted driving, and start out at an awkward hour. Consider resting all day and leave at 9:00 PM. Even better, get a good night’s rest and leave at 6:00 AM Thanksgiving Day.
Save the headache of traveling on peak days during the Thanksgiving season. Plan smart and make your travel plans well in advance to avoid the big holiday rush.