Last year, our holiday season saw a lot less travel and in-person celebrations, and instead saw a lot more Zoom gatherings and stay at home adventures.
This year’s holiday season, however, looks drastically similar to our familiar experiences pre-pandemic – and this Thanksgiving will be the first momentous gathering since 2019. Because of this widespread excitement, travel experts are predicting crowded airports and congested roads.
To avoid a stressful situation and ensure that you make the most out of this upcoming holiday, our team at MCDA CCG highly recommend that you approach your travel agenda with a dependable plan.
As you finalize your Thanksgiving plans, here are some travel tips to implement into your preparations.
If You Are Flying
Arrive Early: This is probably one the most important items on this list, as flying during Thanksgiving time is always chaotic. It’s best to arrive at least two hours before your domestic flight, and at least 3 for international flights.
This additional padding allows you sufficient time to pass through airport security while staying mindful of any current social distancing restrictions in lines.
It’s also a good idea to build extra time into your layover just in case you run into interruptions on your first flight.
Bring Printed Copies: Even though a majority of our critical flight information can be utilized on our digital devices, we still encourage you to bring paper copies of your information. Digital hiccups do happen: phones run out of battery, there may not be WiFi, and/or you can accidentally lose it in the bathroom.
At the very least, print and bring copies of your itinerary, stay information, and important phone numbers.
Plan Post-Flight: If you’re flying to a destination you aren’t quite familiar with, plan for what you’re going to do once you pick up your luggage from baggage claim. If you don’t have a friend or family member coming to pick you up, do some research regarding ride-share cars and taxi rules, as they vary by location.
Pack Food and Snacks: No matter how quick your flight is supposed to be, its always a good idea to bring meals and additional snacks with you when you travel. As restaurants struggle to remain fully staffed, it can be risky to depend on them when you’re walking through terminals. Of course, consider TSA and airport rules for food and drinks.
Bring Safety Items: As federal law mandates traveler’s age 2 and older wear a mask while taking commercial travel, remember to pack extra masks and personal protective equipment. While you may receive certain PPE in some places, other locations may require you to purchase items such as:
- Face masks
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disinfectant Wipes
…so plan ahead.
If You are Traveling By Road:
Use Gas Price Apps: Gas prices are currently at record-breaking highs, but with some planning, you may be able to save some money. Consider downloading gas price tracking apps to check prices throughout your road trip. Depending on the app you download, there may be additional features such as navigation and live traffic reports.
Plan Any On-Road Stays: If your road trip is spread out over one night or a few, you will need somewhere to stop and get some sleep. Check your route and highlight where you predict to stop for the night, and make the necessary reservations to avoid any surprises or restrictions.
No matter the type of travel:
Avoid Peak Days:
Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving can be the busiest time to fly or drive.
Highway traffic for Thanksgiving Day may also be hectic for people traveling nearby as last-minute travelers rush to make a mid-afternoon meal.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving may also see major congestion on the roads and at the airport for people coming home from a long weekend.
Depending on your schedule, you may benefit by travelling a few days early or stay longer to avoid the busiest Thanksgiving travel days. For example, you might try to arrive on Monday or Tuesday instead of Wednesday.
What are your tips for traveling during the holiday season? Comment them below or message them to us directly, we would love to hear!