Top 5 ways to prepare for Thanksgiving travel
With low gas prices, Black Friday, and affordable air fare rates, Thanksgiving has become one of the busiest travel holidays in the United States.
In a press release by Airlines for America, an estimate of a 2.5% increase of passengers is expected to take place for the November holiday which will increase the total amount of travelers to 27.3 million passengers during Thanksgiving week. From Nov. 18 to Nov. 29, U.S. Airlines is expected to carry an average of 2.27 million passengers over a 12-day span, with Nov. 27 projected to be the busiest day during the holiday week while the slowest should inevitably be Thanksgiving day on Nov. 24.
So what can one do in the midst of the throngs of busy crowds scurrying to be with their families in the fastest way possible? The best way to tackle this holiday head-on is to take the smart approach. Here are some ways to prepare for Thanksgiving—both at the dining table and abroad.
Minimize your luggage
This may be a hard concept for many to grasp, especially those who take great pride in the unique talent of jamming as many clothes as possible into that suitcase that’s nearly exploding at the seams. However, you will find that the more you plan your trip in advance, the faster you’ll breeze through the crowds to the first goal: the security checkpoint. By employing what many may consider to be an ascetic undertaking, you will be able to bypass the check-in counter entirely and decrease the amount of time of dealing with those long lines.
Secondly, it’s certainly advisable to make a checklist of all your most essential items. If you’re traveling with children, then make a list of all their toys and entertainment needs and pack accordingly. The ultimate goal of the checklist is to alleviate any stress you may be having going into this holiday season.
Plan early and leave early
Speaking of stress and anxiety, procrastination during Thanksgiving can lead to anguish followed by negativity that affects everyone involved in your travel plans. The best way to compensate for this possible outcome is to start planning your travel plans today.
If you’re a heavy sleeper or not a morning person, then get an early night’s sleep before the big travel day. If you have a red-eye flight, then it may be advisable to take frequent naps throughout the night -after setting multiple alarms on your phone- until it’s time to embark to your destination. The result from all of your preparation should be a significant drop in stress for you and your family.
Patience is a virtue
Hypothetically, if you chose to adhere to all of the aforementioned propositions, you may encounter vast amounts of people. According to a holiday survey done by Orbitz.com, 73% of Americans have elected to travel on either Thanksgiving or Christmas. So one can expect inevitability of encountering the massive crowds bustling throughout different travel locations across the United States. Take a deep breath, and remember that you’ve done everything in your power to expedite your travel arrangements.
Travel by train
Not only is it a thrifty way to spend your Thanksgiving travel fees, but it’s arguably the most seamless, too. Although Amtrak reported a record-breaking 751,066 passengers last year, that number is expected to pale in comparison to the amount of passengers that elect to travel by air. While the travel times vary considerably given invariable amount of stops to different towns depending on your destination, it’s a far cheaper way to travel.
Staying at home? Travel to the grocery story early and begin all cooking arrangements prior to Thanksgiving
Whether you’re preparing for a large or small family gathering, it’s never a bad idea to start finding the food you need and keeping count of the amount of dinner guests. Indeed, writing a compilation of frozen foods that need to be cooked ahead of time and ones at the last minute are certainly advisable. All of the aforementioned suggestions should take place two weeks in advance to allow for as much planning as possible.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to delegate among your family members for certain duties to be carried out -literally- before the family dinner. One can certainly feel helpless with the vast amount of ingredients and shopping to be taken into consideration prior to embarking to the grocery store. Remember, you may be an accomplished cook, but you’re no Gordon Ramsey—unless he’s reading this of course.
As always, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. And whether you follow these recommendations either through fortuitous occurrences or careful planning, you can be rest assured that your experience will be greatly improved.