Let’s be honest, Thanksgiving isn’t always the most relaxing holiday of the year, especially if you’re going to be traveling. Sure, there’s typically plenty of food to go around, but having to fly to your in-laws without even the promise of presents being involved, can make it a stressful holiday. It may even cause you to wonder if it’s even possible to travel on Thanksgiving without all the stress. We’re here to tell you that it is. However, we’ve got a few Thanksgiving travel tips up our sleeves that will help ease the pressure a bit.

Buy Your Tickets Immediately

Thanksgiving Travel Tips Booking Early

If you’re flying and haven’t bought your tickets, then you need to do so immediately. Since Thanksgiving lands around the busiest time of year for travel, don’t expect to find a last-minute deal so easily. Find Thanksgiving travel deals as soon as you can, because fares are only going to rise more and more as Turkey Day draws near.

Hit the Road Rather than Flying

Thanksgiving Travel Tips on the Road

Depending on where you’re going, you could save some money, and possibly a lot of stress if you decide to drive rather than fly. If you’re traveling around Thanksgiving Day itself, then you definitely want to consider this as airfares increase significantly. However, give yourself plenty of time while driving as road travel usually increases a lot on Thanksgiving.

Take a Vacation

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Vacation

One of the more enjoyable Thanksgiving travel tips we have for you is to simply, wait for it, take a vacation. Yep, you heard us right! After all, if you’re trying to save some money while enjoying a less stressful Thanksgiving, then at least a make week of it. This will give you a little rest and relaxation, plus you can enjoy lower fares if you fly early or late enough. This can provide a nice break as the holiday season ramps up. Many hotels and destinations offer Thanksgiving deals, which are typically valid the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving.

You may also like: Essential Tips on What to Pack When You’re Traveling for Thanksgiving

Prepare for Bad Weather and Pre-Thanksgiving Traffic

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Traffic

Thanksgiving is the time of the year when winter weather may start to make its presence known. You can protect yourself against unnecessary stress by preparing for whatever Mother Nature will throw at you. You also need to be ready for traffic on the way to the airport. This is particularly true if you’re flying out the day before Thanksgiving when many families may be hitting the road to get to grandma’s house. Leaving yourself ample time will get your trip off to the best start.

Be Flexible About Dates

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday are historically two of the busiest travel days of the year. Avoiding these dates will go a long way in ensuring a less stressful travel experience. You’ll also save a significant amount of money if you’re flexible with your travel dates. As with any trip, planning ahead will give you the most options and the best prices. This is not the time of the year to book a last-minute trip hoping to score a better deal.

Fly from Alternate Airports

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Flying

Can’t find what you’re looking for in terms of itinerary and price on flights from your home airport? Consider flying from an alternate airport. You may be surprised at how much money you save if you’re willing to drive an extra hour out of your way. Flying out of a smaller airport will also likely save you time on-site because it’s easier to find close parking and you may enjoy a faster experience through security. What you lose in commute time, you may make up for once you arrive at the airport.

Choose the Best Time of Day to Fly

The time of day that you choose to fly will also have a big impact on both the cost and ease of your travel. Choose off-peak times for the best experience. If you’re worried about flight delays, it’s always a good idea to book a flight that leaves before 8 am. This is because flight delays tend to stack up as the day goes on, especially during busy travel periods such as Thanksgiving. Throw in the potential of bad weather and you could be in for a lengthy delay.

Know Which Foods You Can Bring on the Plane

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Food

With more travel restrictions in place these days, it’s important to make sure that you’re following the rules as you pack your bags. For example, items such as wine, gravy, and preserves need to go into a checked piece of luggage. This is because they aren’t considered solids, meaning that they can’t be taken through security in your carry-on bag. The last thing you want is to have to throw out your family-favorite wine because you tried to bring it through security.

Know of any more Thanksgiving travel tips? Enlighten us in the comments below!

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