Thanksgiving Travel Cheat Sheet
As security measures ramp up around the holidays with higher volumes of travelers, and with pat-downs and new scans, navigating packed airports and overbooked flights just got a bit dicier. Expect that you'll have lots of company in your quest to share a turkey dinner with relatives
Best place to go during the Thanksgiving Holiday? Overseas. There, they don't care about Thanksgiving. If you travel directly, you are likely to experience minute crowds compared to domestic travel.
Call to confirm
Delayed or canceled flights are a major cause of holiday stress. Call the airlines within 24 hours of departure to confirm your flight information. You can also sign up for text and email alerts about flight delays and cancellations from your airline.
Use social media
Sometimes it can take a crucial few hours for a text message with information on flight delays to arrive. Check airline Twitter handles for updates. You can also use Twitter to stay on top of weather updates (@weatherchannel) and breaking news (@cnnbrk).
Check in online
That way you can skip check-in lines and baggage drop-off lines, which can be a real time saver. Your average traveler won't necessarily be as efficient
Choose your ticket wisely. Try to fly early in the day.
The airport usually is less crowded, and if your flight is canceled, it will be easier to get another reservation.
At the airport
Keep TSA in the palm of your hand. The MyTSA app provides crowd-sourced, real-time estimates of how long you’ll wait at security, along with PreCheck availability at airports around the country.
Another useful app is PackPoint. After you type in some general information about where you're traveling and for how long, it will give you ideas on what you should be packing.
Pack essentials in carry-on
Knowing that you have the essentials handy can reduce some travel anxiety. Keep medical prescriptions, glasses and overnight basics in your carry-on bag, along with a deck of cards, bottled water, and a nutritious snack.
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Tech tip from a frequent business traveler: "Have a Mophie or other phone battery backup available at all times," he advises. "Combine that with extra-length chargers you can buy online, and you shouldn't miss any critical calls ever."
If possible, pack everything into carry-ons. This way you will not have bags to check in and save on baggage fees. And in the event of a flight delay or cancellation, it's easier to reschedule a flight knowing that you have all your personal items with you and that they aren't stowed away under a plane.
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Ship some of your stuff
If do have a lot of stuff and going away for longer than a weekend, ship some stuff ahead of your travel. This is especially good travel tip for presents as there will be less stuff to carry and they will not have to go through the security checkpoint and get unwrapped. And you might come out even in terms of price for shipping when accounting for luggage fees.
When the credit card system go down, as all technology does especially in the least opportune time, and credit cards can't be accepted, you're still good to go.
Don’t just endure the drive, enjoy it by planning some fun activities during the ride.
Stash blankets, flares and a first-aid kit in the trunk. For more road trip gadgets to pack check out Road Trips With Kids - What To Take Along
Unless you really do not have specific plans, get your tickets and all essentials documents ready ahead of time.
Arrive late at the airport
There is a great quote: "If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late." And that is true for arriving at the airport especially during the holiday travel season. Even if you don't have a lot with you and checked in online, it is still a great idea to arrive with a couple hours to spare.
Travel on just any day:
Traffic volumes around the major holiday -
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