Whether you’re driving or flying, traveling before and after Thanksgiving can turn into quite a headache. With people across the US eager to get to their loved ones (and the turkey!), lines at airports and traffic is inevitable. But don’t let the journey get you down! We’re sharing our 5 tried and true Thanksgiving travel tips to help you survive next week’s travel.
1. Plan ahead and arrive early.
The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, so plan ahead. If you’re driving, think about the rush hour times for each city you have to drive through. Even consider a scenic route—sometimes the distance might be longer but you won’t end up sitting bumper to bumper. If you’re flying, arrive extra early. You’d rather be sitting at your gate reading a book or enjoying some fantastic people-watching than having a panic attack at the never-ending security line.
2. Stay connected.
Download key travel apps so you immediately know of any flight delays or traffic issues. GateGuru is a favorite of ours. It provides detailed maps of airports and real time updates relevant to your flight. If you’re driving, download Waze. It connects you with other drivers, and you can see their updates on traffic, accidents, police traps and more.
3. Be ready for the unexpected
Weather delays are simiply unavoidable. Prepare for unexpected hiccups by arriving early (see #1), building in extra time between connections, and packing necessities in your carry on. And always remember that your Brownell Advisor who helped you plan this trip will be your advocate if things go bump—keep his or her number handy.
4. Pack Smart
If you’re flying, avoid checking a bag as best you can. If you have to check one, be sure to keep necessities in your carry on. Medications, toiletries, chargers, and valuables should be with you at all times. Headed out on the open road? Pack a small cooler with drinks and snacks—you never know what food options (or lack thereof!) lay before you.
If something goes wrong, take a deep breath and relax. Some issues are simply unavoidable, so do your best to be flexible and patient. In 5 years, your bad travel day will turn into a funny story to share around the Thanksgiving table.