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Thanksgiving Travel Tips

The Thanksgiving holiday isn’t only the start of shopping season, it’s unrivaled as one of the busiest travel times.

With legendary weather delays (remember the blizzard a few years ago?) and every possible flight being booked solid, the key to avoiding as much of nasty stuff as possible is to PLAN AHEAD. Start now and you will ease some of the most common headaches.

Here are my top battle-tested Thanksgiving travel tips:

Get started! If you haven’t already booked your flight for Thanksgiving, stop reading this and look at flights now! With so much consolidation in the airlines there are fewer flights and routes. The seats that are available are just going to get more expensive as we get closer to the holiday.

Pay for aisle and window.

This, one of the ugliest fees in a slew of bad ones, is especially terrible for families of four who have to shell out an extra $60each way to sit with one another. With the planes packed and the airports a mosh pit, my feeling is splurge for this one. There’s just no way you’re not getting a middle seat if you don’t.

Fly against the traffic.

Just about all of the United States is traveling at the same time. If your dates are flexible, you could both save money and avoid the peak most stressful times to fly. Sites like or have calendars to show when the cheapest days and times are to fly to your destination. Just mark “my dates are flexible.” Or plan to fly early morning on Thursday, with a return trip on Saturday. Flying early Thursday might be tough, but the airports will be empty and hopefully there’s a mandatory post-Turkey nap policy in your family.

Leave plenty of time.

I’ve said it again and again: Panic sets in when you don’t give yourself enough lead time for crowds or unexpected problems. Because of the holiday, get to the airport AT LEAST two hours before your flight. Best case scenario? You get to really enjoy that pre-flight bloody mary. Be sure to check-in the night before so you eliminate one potentially long line.

Connecting flights.

If there was ever a time to fly nonstop, it would be now. I know that connecting flights are cheaper, but they are also the weakest link of your itinerary and will leave you vulnerable to major problems for such a short trip. If you miss your connecting flight, the chance of room on another is very slim. No one wants to eat a saran wrapped turkey club from an airport kiosk for Thanksgiving. If you have to connect, leave no less than two hours between flights.

What are your best holiday travel tips? Share in the comments!

With legendary weather delays (remember the blizzard a few years ago?) and every possible flight being booked solid, the key to avoiding as much of nasty stuff as possible is to PLAN AHEAD. Start now and you will ease some of the most common headaches. Here are my top battle-tested Thanksgiving travel tips.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
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    right here! Good luck for the next!

  2. A LARGE SCARFor Pashmina keeps my neck warm from draft in the airport, substitutes as a jacket sometimes, can be used as a blanket, or can be rolled as the neckroll pillow. They can be purchased in almost any airport, unless you want the true Cashmere ones.

    A TALL FABRIC QUILTED TOTE in any solid color or black looks like Chanel, looks classy and gets loads of compliments And keeps my hands totally free for eating, drinking, opening the canal locks, and petting sheep. Carrying things the size of my choir folder, it has shoulder straps that enhance security as it’s up close under your arm. It’s depth allows for safety of my iPhone and iPad. It feels like I am wearing mere cloth and its height allows for a bottle of wine for picnics!

    Bring one of those POWER BACK-UPS; it allows for some extra technology use when your power is low and you need that last photograph.

    A PAPER COPY of passport and other important info is weightless and is also an important back up.

    TAKE ONE PAIR OF 2-INCH HEELS. They really make an impression and are comfortable; I wore mine all over London .

    WOMEN—WEAR SOLID COLOR WOOL GABARDINE BLAZERS. Wool gabardine is worn 12 months of the year.
    Blazers work well with jeans and a T-shirt, a bustier and short skirt for the Moulin Rouge, and for any and all traditional wear. Take two. One solid black. One solid in another color. Blazers are slimming and they keep you warm and/or keep you from perspiring because they breathe. They are made of wool. They have several pockets and pass ANY DRESS CODE. I get dozens of compliments, excellent service and besides that, everyone thinks I’m one of the local establishment.

    MEN—Wear a jacket and dressy, comfy loafers. People thought my husband was part of the local establishment as well–They asked HIM for directions! You get quicker and better service everywhere and are taken more seriously in general . You look like you want to be there!

    HOLD YOUR HOTELS to the room you paid for………and the CAR RENTAL DEALERS also. If they say they will change your room by the time you return, simply smile and say “Thank you, but I will wait now…..”! And be prepared to wait. It works.

  3. So true. Booked a frequent flier free flight on United Airlines direct from Hononlulu to IAD – traveled on Saturday night after Thanksgiving – and booked only 6 weeks in advance . Direct flights is definitely the way to go! Thanksgiving – visited the National Parks – erupting volcano – now that is is cool Thanksgiving! In the past, I found theme parks great on Thanksgiving day – people only seem to come to the park later in the afternoon. I love beating the crowds everywhere!

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Thanksgiving Travel Tips



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