As Thanksgiving holiday nears, many Americans are preparing to travel to reunite with family and friends for the festive season. According to AAA, this year’s Thanksgiving is predicted to see one of the highest volumes of travelers , with more than 53 million Americans planning to travel for the holiday.
Of the millions expected to travel, nearly 48 million are anticipated to drive to their destinations, a figure representing a 4% increase over last year. Another estimated 4.7 million travelers are expected to fly, an increase of 6.6% compared to 2022 and the highest number of Thanksgiving air travelers since 2022. “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.”
However, traveling during the holiday season also means bracing for potential delays and inconveniences. Highways and airports are expected to be crowded, with peak travel congestion occurring on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. AAA is advising travelers to plan ahead and be prepared for busy travel periods.
Experts also emphasize the need to continue to adhere to safety measures and follow CDC guidelines when traveling. This includes practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing masks in crowded places and on public transportation.
Travelers are also urged to keep an eye on weather conditions as winter weather could potentially impact travel plans.
Furthermore, travel insurance is being suggested as a potential safeguard. Various companies offer plans that cover cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies that could arise during the trip.
The bottom line is that whether traveling or hosting for Thanksgiving, it is important to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.
With increased traffic on the road and potential airport chaos, the holiday season can be an especially stressful time for travelers. But with some forethought and preparation, you can make your trip a little less hectic.
Here are some tips to help you travel smarter this Thanksgiving:
Planning is critical for any trip, but particularly so during busy holiday seasons. This includes booking flights or securing accommodation early, making a checklist of things you’ll need to pack, and mapping out your route if you’re driving.
Travel during off-peak times:
To avoid crowded airports and traffic jams, try to travel when others are less likely to. Early mornings, late nights, and the actual holiday are typically quieter times to hit the road or fly.
Check the weather:
Always keep an eye on the weather forecast before your trip, as weather can significantly affect travel conditions. This could involve checking if storms are likely, which could cause flight delays or treacherous driving conditions.
Overpacking can cause stress and make travel more challenging. Take the time to think about what you’ll need for your stay and what you can leave at home. Keep important items like medications, electronics, and important documents in your carry-on in case of delayed or lost luggage.
Whether you’re hitting the road or catching a flight, make sure to give yourself plenty of time. It’s always better to be early than rushed or, worse, miss your plane or bus because of unforeseen delays.
Keep healthy snacks handy:
While travel days are notorious for poor eating, maintaining good nutrition will help keep your energy levels high and immune system strong. Pack snacks like fruits, nuts, or granola bars that won’t spoil during your journey.
Things don’t always go as planned, especially when traveling during busy times. If possible, keep your plans flexible and be prepared to adjust if necessary.
Keep your devices charged:
With increased dependency on smartphones for things like navigation and airline check-ins, ensure your devices are fully charged before you embark on your journey.
Relax and enjoy:
Most importantly, remember that the purpose of your trip is to enjoy yourself. Try not to let travel stresses detract from the enjoyment of spending time with your loved ones.
Remember that safety should be your first priority. Follow COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing where necessary. Be sure to adhere to any local travel advisories or restrictions in your destination area.
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!