Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving Travel

Okay, Americans. We have officially entered the worst week for air travel of the entire year. And AAA & the TSA are predicting the busiest Thanksgiving travel in 18 years, with over 55 million travelers expected from Wednesday-Sunday. 🤯

It’s gonna be rough out there. Here’s my advice for surviving this week with your sanity intact – and making it to your destination in time for that turkey dinner:

First of all: please, please, for the love of turkey, be KIND this week. Remember, you will be one of 55 million Americans trying to get to their own families. Everyone is trying to achieve the same thing. Head into this Thanksgiving travel week knowing it’s going to be chaotic, but choose to be kind to everyone you meet – especially TSA & airport staff who are working overtime to ensure you get to where you want to go (and have their own families at home they want to see.) Trust me, it will make a difference.

Try to pack in carry-on(s) only

I HIGHLY recommend packing in a carry-on to a) speed up your time at the airport and b) reduce the pretty high risk of losing your luggage. More Thanksgivin = more luggage = more chances your bag gets lost in the shuffle. Plus, you’ll save money on checked luggage fees!

Related: How to Pack in a Carry-On Only

Pack snacks & a water bottle

Pack protein and fiber-rich snacks (especially if traveling with kids) and a refillable water bottle to fill up after security. Most airports have filtered water stations now, and it will save you from having to go into the crowded airport shops.

Give yourself extra time

…and then some. Leave the house early; there’s likely going to be Thanksgiving travel traffic. Have everything packed according to TSA regulations, wear loose comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to remove, and get to the airport early. Average general boarding security wait time is 30 minutes, and that can easily double depending on how big and how staffed your airport is.

Check if your airport offers CLEAR

It’s a digital identity membership that moves you through security even faster than TSA PreCheck. Most airports that offer it will give first-time users a free trial on the spot, but you can also start the enrollment process online now if you want to enroll – it’s $89/year and WELL worth having. Many travel credit cards offer it as a perk, too! (I got mine through @amexplatinum.) Find participating locations here.

Consider a seat/fare upgrade

If you have the cash (or points!) to spare, consider an upgrade for peace of mind. Since many business travelers are not traveling this week, it will be much easier to find upgrade availability. In most cases, you’ll get free checked bags, priority security & boarding, free food & drinks onboard, and a much smoother flying experience.

Best of luck to all flying this week – may the odds be ever in your favor! 🤞

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