Who doesn’t like the thought of family and friends gathering together for Thanksgiving? Tons of turkey and stuffing will be served at dinner tables across the country. Millions of people will take to the skies and roads to partake in the festivities. Even with all of the goodwill, traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday can get frustrating. You will need a game plan to make your journey successful. We’ve put together a handy travel to-do list for the turkey lover in you. It may help you travel drama-free during the holiday.
#1 Choose Better Travel Days
The day before Thanksgiving and the following Sunday are the busiest travel days during the holiday1. So, try to bypass the crowds and the traffic by choosing less popular days. Consider traveling the Tuesday before or even the morning of Thanksgiving. For your journey home, think about leaving the Friday after turkey day or the following Monday. You may find cheaper flights and clearer roads thanks to your foresight.
#2 Prepare for the Road Ahead
If you choose to travel by car, plan your route in advance. Use a GPS system or your smartphone to navigate and find alternative routes. If possible, avoid heavily traveled roads. You may even opt to take a more scenic route to and from your destination. The journey may be a little longer, but at least you may not be stuck behind a sea of cars.
#3 Keep Calm and Carry-On
If you are flying this year, consider just bringing carry-on bags. More airlines are charging for checked bags these days, so, save yourself the fees. Also, you don’t want to run the possibility of your bags getting delayed or lost. You would be amazed how much you can fit into a carry-on bag, if you pack it right. Try rolling your clothes into neat cylinders and opt for just one extra pair of shoes.
#4 Travel Apps are Your Friends
Download travel apps to your smartphone ahead of time to keep informed of flight delays and traffic issues. Use your airline’s app to monitor your flight status and rebook a flight in case of a cancellation or delay. Download the FlightAware app for real-time flight tracking and customizable alerts. For road trippers, the Waze app can be a useful tool. It connects you with other drivers who send real-time updates on traffic and accidents. Waze is also great at finding alternative roads to your destination.
#5 Stay Zen
Mishaps are bound to happen. Events outside of your control may threaten the whole trip. Through it all, tell yourself, “It’s ok,” and stay relaxed. Protect yourself from future frustration by preparing for the unexpected. If you’re flying, try to book the earliest flight of the day if your airline is prone to delays. You’ll have a better chance of leaving on time. Arrive at the airport a few hours early to leave plenty of time for security checkpoints. Build a couple hours between connections in case of delays. If you’re driving, pack snacks for the road, especially if you’ll have children in the car. Plan stops along the way to stretch and take bathroom breaks. Lastly, share driving duties if you have a long drive ahead of you.
#6 Get Travel Protection
Traveling during Thanksgiving can be a gamble, so don’t wing it. Travel protection is a way to help protect the pre-paid, non-refundable parts of your trip. For example, if you’re renting a car, you’ll want Rental Car Damage coverage. If you’re booking a hotel, you might want Trip Cancellation coverage. If you’re flying, find a plan with Travel Delay and Baggage Delay benefits. In case something unexpected happens on your trip, you may be eligible for reimbursement of covered losses.* You also have the benefit of non-insurance assistance services that can provide pre-trip assistance and help with reservations. For more information and to compare plans, visit www.travelinsured.com.
Make this list your go-to for travel ideas this Thanksgiving holiday. The less you have to deal with travel hang-ups, the more you can focus on turkey, family, and friends. We wish you a happy Thanksgiving!
* This blog contains highlights of the plans, which include travel insurance coverages underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company under form series T210 et. al. and TP-401 et. al. The plans also contain non‑insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by C&F Services through Active Claims Management (2018) Inc., operating as Active Care Management. The cost of your plan is for the full plan. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best 2019. C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions in the plan, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. In most states, your travel retailer is not a licensed insurance producer/agent, and is not qualified or authorized to answer technical questions about the terms, benefits, exclusions, and conditions of the insurance offered or to evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance coverage. Your travel retailer may provide general information about the plans offered, including a description of the coverage and price. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from your travel retailer. CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-4357. MD Insurance Administration: 800-492-6116 or 410-468-2340. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact Travel Insured: 855 Winding Brook Drive, Glastonbury, CT 06033; 800-243-3174; email@example.com; California license #0I13223.