SmartTravel.Tips
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Thanksgiving Travel Tips

It’s that time of year again! The hustle and bustle of holiday travel. Thanksgiving is the busiest time for travelers across the nation. Especially now due to the pandemic subsiding. Here we have offered some tips to make your time with family and friends a bit less stressful.

Purchase Your Tickets in Advance
It’s known the earlier you purchase your airline tickets, the better deal you’ll get. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase during holiday time. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest weeks of travel and it will cost you. Track your flight prices early. Sign up through travel sites, such as Expedia, to receive emails when prices drop. Snag it and book! Prices fluctuate often, even within minutes of your original searches. You will receive daily notifications when flight prices change, so you know the best time to book. According to travel experts, flights are cheapest when booked approximately 4.3 months prior departure date. Most flights can be booked a year in advance. And don’t worry about change or cancellation fees, as many airfares have waived them since COVID hit. Be sure to check with the airline directly for their individual policies. If you have your travel dates in advance, be sure to start searching for the best deals in advance!

Be Flexible with Travel Days/Travel on Tuesdays
Try and be as flexible as possible with your travel dates. The busiest days, and most expensive, are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. Take the kids out of school a day or two earlier, this will save you hundreds! Travel experts recommend traveling November 21, 2022 or on the actual Thanksgiving Holiday, November 24,2022. Black Friday is also an option to save some money on travel. Many people have opted to have Thanksgiving dinner at their home and then fly out the next day. Tuesdays are known to be one of the cheapest travel days. Although, the closer the holiday, the more expensive flights may become. The more flexible you are able to be, the more money you and your family will save. There are several websites that will help find you deals, with flexibility. Check out flightsfinder.com and skyscanner.com to find lower fares.

Ask Family to Celebrate Early
Has it been awhile since you’ve seen family and friends due to the pandemic? Everyone wants to catch up with their loved ones. Ask if holiday celebrations are flexible. Celebrate a lovely Thanksgiving feast a week early. You’ll miss the rush of traffic if driving or flying. With flight prices rising, travelers will be expected to pay at least 43% more round trip this holiday season. Talk to your family and arrange to celebrate earlier than the normal day of Thanksgiving. This will help lessen the cost of travel, be less stressful and have options to purchase more common holiday food, prior to grocery stores running out of your favorite items! You’ll also see cheaper prices in stores. Many markets are supplied with Thanksgiving goodies as early as the day after Halloween. No time to waste, stock up now! The convenience of an early Thanksgiving celebration may ease stress among family members. And most likely, more people will be available!

Pack Light
If traveling by car, pack a small bag of necessities. Let the kids pack some of their favorites to keep busy along the ride. Invest in small electronics for the car ride. Throw a movie on. It will be worth it! The less packed, the cheaper it will cost while flying. Airlines have skyrocketed costs on carry-on bags. If you absolutely need to pack an abundance, stuff a check-in bag full! Here you’ll have one flat fee for the family. Many airlines are now allowing a personal item only, free of charge. Most carry-on bags will have a fee that can add up when traveling with your family. Make your layovers quick and easy with just a personal item, when possible. A small carry-on with wheels or a backpack are easier options on the plane and throughout the airport as well. Let your littles bring one small item on the plane to keep them occupied during flights and connections.

Buy Food in Bulk
Be sure to purchase your groceries early! Too many people wait to shop the day before Thanksgiving… NOT a good idea. Stores prepare to be busy, although they will still run out of many festive goodies. If you’re bringing canned items with you to friends and family, be sure to stock up. These will be much easier to travel with as well. Buy turkeys and keep them in the freezer. Try to opt for a larger bird, around a 16-24 pound whole turkey. Not many shoppers know that turkeys 15 pounds or less cost more per pound! And who doesn’t like leftover turkey sandwiches? It’s worth buying more, if you’re looking to save money. Opt for frozen vegetables, these can last longer and you can buy in advance. With the price of food rising daily, there is no room to waste. Frozen foods can be used sparingly, so less is wasted. Be wise with your budget!

Prepare For Guests
Guests will be traveling from out of town and you’ll want to be sure they’re comfortable in your home. Prepare your guest room early in advance. Shop for items, such as bedding, at discounted retail stores. Marshall’s HomeGoods is a great option, without paying full price. Check your local thrift shops and online social media sites for extra bedding and supplies. Many Black Friday deals start early and shoppers can find discounts on televisions and other electronics. You’ll want to make your friends and family feel welcomed during their visit. If children are coming, look at bunk bed options. Kids generally don’t care where they sleep. Suggest for your guests to bring their own pillows and sleeping bags. Kids can bunk in a room and let the grown ups do the holiday cooking! Don’t forget to make some room in a closet or dresser for your guests’ clothing. Give them some space of their own and make sure to have a spare key made for them!

Prepare For Weather Delays
Depending on where you or your guests are traveling from, be prepared for weather delays and/or cancellations. November can be a tricky kind of year for Mother Nature. Be sure to have alternate travel plans, in case you get hit with snow delays. Your flights may be canceled in specific areas, so have a back up. Check ahead for accidents en route, to avoid being stuck in traffic. Have the weather channel on hand while traveling. Before you head out, make sure nothing is coming your way where your route will be detoured. Plan out extra time when traveling during the busiest season. Airports will likely be packed and anxious passengers will be hustling to get to their destination. If traveling by car, plan for emergencies. Pack extra blankets, flashlights, flares, bottled water and snacks. Always carry a portable cell phone charger with you and make sure it’s fully charged before leaving your house

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