Thanksgiving Travel Tips

By Boston Chauffeur
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As Thanksgiving approaches, the prospect of traveling fills many with dread. Where to stay? Are cheap flights still available? Do I really want to leave home on one of the busiest travel days of the year? Here are helpful travel tips that I want to share with you so you can have the perfect vacation traveling to your destination.

  1. A Drama-Free Adventure – The Thanksgiving holiday is undoubtedly the busiest travel time of the year. Notorious transportation delays, traffic, and travel snags meet travelers at nearly every turn. But with a bit of foresight and some thoughtful planning, you can ease some travel headaches whether you’re heading home for the holidays or escaping for a drama-free adventure. Regardless of your plans, you’ll be thankful for these Thanksgiving travel tips.
  2. Planning Ahead – It’s never too early to start your holiday travel planning. In the early fall, you can take advantage of lower rates and better seat selection. To take advantage of a lower price, and possibly a bargain, sign up for sale notifications from your preferred airlines or Amtrak and follow your favorites on Twitter and Facebook where special sale notifications may pop up before they are available to the general public. Before you get away, it might also be a good idea to take out some travel insurance. You can easily and quickly purchase a policy in advance of your trip, giving you peace of mind that if anything does go wrong, you’re covered. To find the insurance plan your family needs, check out this helpful page: Insurdinary.ca/benefits-green-shield-health-insurance
  3. Decide Where to Stay – During Thanksgiving, hotels are going to be considerably busy. You need to book ahead, and decide whether you want to be surrounded by a lot of people! Perhaps you want to take an alternative route and rent a campervan with Rent.is (this will also save you money at such an expensive time), or stay in your own cabin. Whatever you decide, make sure you book early on to avoid the Thanksgiving rush bookings.
  4. Forget the Luggage – As more airlines start charging $0 or more for checked bags, pack light and use carry a bags. But keep in mind that your fellow travelers will all have the same idea and overhead space may be tight onboard. In some cases, overhead bins will be full and the airline will check bags at the jetway.
    Tip: Pack a lightweight tote bag to hold valuable items that remove before checking the bag.
  5. Travel Light – To lighten your traveling load, consider shipping some of your belongings to your final destination ahead of time, especially presents and bulky items like diapers or extra clothes that you won’t need for the journey. But compare prices first. Checking luggage could still be less expensive than shipping. Also, check with the destination where you plan to send your items to find out if they store shipments before your arrival.
  6. Choose the Best Days – The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, closely followed by the Sunday after the big day when travelers make the journey home. Avoid these days by flying out earlier in the week or Thanksgiving morning to avoid the Wednesday travel rush.
  7. Getting Home – When you’re ready to head home, take flight on Friday when the masses have moved on from the airports to the shopping centers to score the best Black Friday holiday sales. The travel crowd picks up again on Saturday, reaching a critical peak on Sunday, before leveling out on Monday.
  8. Rise + Shine – It’s common sense to arrive at the airport early, you’ll need the time for parking, security and to wait your turn for that necessary cup of coffee. If you don’t have PreCheck, the security lines may be longer, so plan accordingly.
  9. Take Advantage of Technology – You can avoid some airport hassles by taking advantage of useful applications that can be used on your smartphone. iPhone users can get details on the airport traffic as well as maps showing the gates and amenities information using the GateGuru app. Airlines including Southwest, Delta, and American Airlines have mobile apps where passengers can check in, confirm seats and keep track of their flight status.
  10. Best Day to Fly – Thanksgiving Day is the cheapest day to fly during this period, same as always. Sure, no one wants to fly on the holiday itself but that’s why prices are less costly.
    Tip: Fly out as early as you can on Thanksgiving Day and you won’t miss a minute of the feast or the football game (depending on the time zone where you’ll be traveling to). And always, always compare airfare prices on several airline and booking sites.
  11. Worst Day to Fly – Departure: Wednesday (Nov. 21) is usually the worst day to begin a Thanksgiving trip but this year, flying on Tuesday (Nov. 20) is equally bad.
  12. Good days to fly – There are no true “good” days to fly at Thanksgiving; it’s all expensive, but some days are cheaper than others (it’s all about getting the best of the bad deals). Thanksgiving Day has already been mentioned as kind of a deal but you can also save by flying the Monday before Thanksgiving (or earlier) and the Tuesday after. The further away from the expensive days you get, the better.
  13. When to buy – If you will be flying Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday, buy tickets now. These fares usually see the steepest price hikes and, although they won’t be cheap now, at least you’ll lock in the price before it starts to rise.
  14. When prices get ugly – Usually in September fares begin to rise on a daily basis. It’s not much at first, but it doesn’t take long before the small increases add up. By October, fares have been known to rise as much as $5 per day.
  15. Best exchange rates – Wherever you’re travelling around the globe, be sure to find the best exchange rate so that you can make your money on your travels stretch even further.

Thanksgiving Road Trips

While you certainly save money and avoid some headaches traveling by land, navigating the highways presents its own set of holiday challenges during the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

  1. Avoid High Volume Highway Traffic – Traffic can choke heavily traveled routes, like the I-95 corridor on the East Coast, adding hours to generally speedy trips. Follow the same best practices for road travel, including avoiding the highways on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving day and the following Sunday.
  2. Plan Ahead – Plan your route in advance and travel with a GPS system, smartphone, or printed maps to offer alternatives if you need an alternate route. And to avoid unnecessary delays at tolls, bring along an E-ZPass or change. Be sure to fill up on gas before you hit the road, and brush up on tips to handle hazardous road conditions during icy or stormy weather. If you happen to be driving alone on roads that you have never driven on before, it may be in your best interests to get your brakes changed or updated as you don’t know what will be around the corner. For instance, if you have a Ferrari and you live in the appropriate area, you may wish to have ferrari 488 gtb brakes fitted to ensure maximum safety.

The airport and roadways will be crazy busy the week before and the week after Thanksgiving. If you plan to fly in and out of Logan for the holiday, call us early at 978-921-4334 to arrange your transportation to and from Logan.

Boston Chauffeur

978-921-4334

Sources: Travel Channel Author: Jennifer Plum Auvil; Travel and Leisure; USA Today Author: Rick Seaney

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