1. Plan Flight Details Ahead of Time, Including Luggage
Thanksgiving travel is notorious for delays, traffic, and other complications for travelers. When traveling on a holiday, it is never too early to begin looking for flights. It is best to start searching for and purchasing plane tickets in the early fall to avoid surge pricing and sold-out flights. Are Thanksgiving holiday dates flexible for your family? Consider collaborating with loved ones on travel dates to ensure you are getting the best deal on airfare. Flying in or out on a Tuesday rather than a Friday can potentially save travelers hundreds of dollars.
Once you have your plane ticket, be sure to arrive at the airport extra early to allow buffer time for long TSA lines and other delays that may hold travelers up. Consider packing a carry-on rather than checking a bag to bypass luggage claim, saving time and preventing stress. If needed, consider shipping belongings to your destination ahead of time to ensure a quick airport check-in.
Unsure how to save space and travel light? Learn How to Pack a Carry-On for 5 Days like a pro with these tips.
2. Know TSA Rules for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is bringing home leftovers. When packing up leftovers, keep in mind that some food must be kept in checked bags rather than carry-ons.
A common rule of thumb is that any solid foods can go into a carry-on bag. But, if you plan to bring any gravy or cranberry sauce home, you might need to put them in your checked bag as TSA considers them a liquid. If you plan to pack some turkey in your carry-on but need to keep it cold, you can keep ice packs in a carry-on if they are frozen solid.
Some holiday favorites that can be packed in a carry-on include baked goods, meat, stuffing, casseroles, vegetables, fruit, candy spices and mac ‘n cheese. As for checked items, if you plan to bring home any cranberry sauce, gravy, wine, canned fruit or vegetables, jams and jellies or maple syrup, you may want to leave room in your checked bag. To place these items in a carry-on, follow TSA’s 3-1-1 rule, which allows a passenger to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, with travel-sized containers holding up to 3.4 ounces. If you are unsure about a specific food item, it would be best to check it.
3. Arrange for Travel to the Airport in Advance
Do not wait to arrange for transportation to the airport during the busy holiday season. Ease your stress by parking and getting a ride with our 24/7 online airport parking reservations. Busy airports are expected during holiday travel seasons, and with COVID-19 still impacting day-to-day life, utilizing high-volume rideshare services can be risky – especially when you are heading home to be with your loved ones. Park your car with us and forgo the high-traffic, high-price rideshare services and get to and from your destination safely.
4. Be Kind to Airport Staff
Holiday travel can be frustrating. But Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have. Things are bound to go wrong – long lines, delays, and turkey catastrophes – but don’t let the setbacks ruin time with friends and family. We like to remind our travelers that tough times while traveling are also frustrating for the employees who are working on the holiday rather than spending time with their loved ones. Be kind, be patient, and make the most out of aggravating situations when they arise.
The Bottom Line
While traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday can be overwhelming, planning ahead and remembering why you are traveling in the first place can help reduce stress. Knowing TSA rules, anticipating delays, and remembering to keep a level head can make Thanksgiving travel not entirely stress-free but worth the trek.
Looking for more tips on how to conquer Thanksgiving travel? Check out other PreFlight articles: