Every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans travel hundreds of miles across their country to dine with family and friends. In fact, Thanksgiving is the U.S.’s biggest travel day of the year, with over 43 million Americans (about 14% of the country) hitting the road for Turkey Day. And while so much of America unites in spirit of Thanksgiving (and the spirit of travel), this country-wide vacation weekend can lead to heavy traffic, long airport lines, and an overall pain in the neck.
But luckily, there are ways to mitigate these annoyances. Here are some tips to make your Thanksgiving travel go a little more smoothly.
The Fact: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year.
The Problem: This cause heavy traffic and long lines.
The Solution: Avoid traveling on Wednesday. If you’ve got a flexible schedule, leave for your destination on Monday or Tuesday; or, if you’re pressed for time, travel on Thanksgiving Day.
The Fact: The weather is often unpredictable this time of year.
The Problem: Winter storms can cause accidents, traffic, and delays.
The Solution: Check the weather beforehand, and plan your trip around the storms. If meteorologists predict storms or other driving hazards, don’t be afraid to cancel your trip and opt for a Thanksgiving at home.
The Fact: 3.1 Americans will be traveling by plane this Thanksgiving.
The Problem: The high number of air travelers causes long lines, traffic, and full parking lots at the airport.
The Solution: Leave early. Calculate these small time-suckers into your pre-boarding timing schedule. For example, consider that parking could take up to half an hour, so add that into your plan for the day.
The Fact: People prefer to travel during their waking hours.
The Problem: Airports are more congested midday.
The Solution: Travel when most people will be in bed, during the early morning hours or late into the night. There will be far less people in the airport, so you won’t have to fight to make your Thanksgiving flight.
Still looking for a place to stay this Thanksgiving? Look no further.
- 43 million traveling this year for Thanksgiving (boston.com)
- Thanksgiving travel plans? Expect lots of company out there (roadloans.com)
- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipe – The Pumpkin Martini (babescott.com)
- Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips (eventsholidaytravel1.wordpress.com)
- 11 Travel Tips for Thanksgiving Week (redcross.org)