Away from home this Thanksgiving?
Many of us will have the opportunity to spend time with loved ones this Thanksgiving, and for some of us, that also means we’ll be celebrating the holiday away from home. If you plan to travel this Thanksgiving, there are a few things you can do to make your trip more successful and less stressful.
Getting a deal on lodging
- Book a furnished vacation apartment instead of a hotel room. It’s one of the best ways to save money. You and your family will be much more comfortable in a furnished apartment, than you’d be in a hotel room. Plus you’ll pay one price for the unit and no surcharge for additional guests in your party. You’ll also get a full kitchen, including everything you’ll need to prepare and serve meals (… that is, only if you want to!). Bed and bath linens are also provided, as are comfortable furnishings and other amenities. Many vacation apartments are in complexes that resemble luxury resorts, but are offered at a fraction of the price.
- Skip discount sites like Travelocity. Contact the host directly to inquire about deals and specials in the city you’re going to.
- If you’re traveling by air, consider going on Thanksgiving Day. Although midweek flights are usually less crowded and less expensive, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the heaviest travel days of the entire year, and you’re not likely to find many open seats or special deals.
- Pack light. It’ll save you money on checked baggage, and it’ll help you get through the process much more easily.
- Pack organized. Neatly packed carry-ons don’t require additional inspection by airport security officers as often as messy bags. That’s because the security officers need to be able to identify the objects they see on the x-ray machine’s screen. Haphazard wires and other loosely jumbled objects could lead to a bag check and cost you some time. Even if you are selected for a bag check, a neatly packed bag will help the process go quickly and smoothly.
- Expect delays. Arrive at the airport with more than the amount of time you think you’ll need.
- Take time off during the week after Thanksgiving if you can. It’s typically one of the slowest travel times of the year and you’ll find far fewer traffic headaches.
- Use less frequently traveled routes, such as state highways. At least know what your options are in case of an accident or other traffic jam that stops you in your tracks. Use the traffic feature on your phone or GPS to identify trouble spots.
- Drive carefully. More cars are on the road for the Thanksgiving holiday than at any other time of the year. Be on the lookout for impaired drivers and unexpected situations.
Traveling with pets
Don’t forget to bring everything you need to make your pet feel at home and protect the belongings of whoever you’re staying with, so you’re sure to be invited back.
- Bring extra blankets or sheets to drape over the furniture. They’ll protect the items and also give your animal the familiar scent of home.
- Bring any medications your pet will need, and make sure he or she is wearing identification tags with a cell phone or some other number where you can be reached while you are away from home.
- Plan to keep your pet with you most of the time. Animals get stressed when left alone in an unfamiliar place. Aside from causing anxiety in your beloved pet, you’ll also risk coming back to find the furniture, doors or walls chewed and scratched.
For more tips on traveling, check out this article. Be safe and have a wonderful holiday!