The holiday season is quickly approaching! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people are preparing for their travels to spend time with family members. If it’s been a while since you’ve traveled, you’ll need to be prepared for some of the new changes due to COVID-19. We have these tips, and more, to make your Thanksgiving travels a breeze for you and your loved ones.
Don’t Get Over-Ambitious With Your Thanksgiving Plans
It can be tempting to want to make a lot of plans for your trip and fill each day to the brim with exciting activities! However, Thanksgiving breaks are often short. You feel like you blink and it’s time to return back home again. Make a few plans, but try to keep your days mostly open and free. Go with the flow or rest and relax with your family and friends.
Remember also that since Thanksgiving is a national holiday, many places may be closed on Thursday. This means that places that are open will likely be crowded. Depending on the COVID restrictions of the area, they might have a lower capacity than usual. They may even have to turn people away.
Whatever plans you do make, make them in advance. Check online for important information such as the hours venues will be open, if reservations in advance are required or recommended, and more. But again, try not to overdo it or your vacation will sneak right by you and leave you feeling tired!
Be Prepared For Thanksgiving Delays
Traffic, inclement weather, unexpected malfunctions… it’s important to always be prepared. You may not have a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles level of catastrophe on your way to your festivities, but it’s important to add some buffer to your time in case you are held up. You wouldn’t want to be late for the turkey carving because of ice on the roads! Head out on the road about an hour earlier than Google Maps tells you to, and you can thank us later.
This is especially true for those who are flying for their Thanksgiving traveling. Crowded airports, full flights, and the addition of COVID restrictions are a recipe for delayed flights. Get to the airport even earlier than you normally would! Let’s say you typically give yourself 2 hours before your flight to get through security and find your gate. Add an extra 30 minutes just to be safe, and make sure you have your pickup arrangements all in order as well. You would hate to land and then be waiting on the cold curb for an additional 45 minutes while you try to get an Uber.
Another helpful tip for avoiding delays? Know what to expect at the airport. You don’t want to be that person in line holding you and everyone else up because you forgot to put your liquids in a bag or can’t find your vaccination card. Here are the latest safety requirements for LAX. All other airports should have similar information posted on their app or site.
Get Your Travel Documents Together – Now.
Picture this nightmare scenario: you’re about to leave for the airport when you remember you need your passport. You’re opening drawers, digging through random boxes, calling your mom… but you can’t find it anywhere and your ride is waiting outside. Don’t let this happen to you! Once you’re done reading this blog, find your travel documents and put them all together with your suitcase so you’re prepared… now. Driving? You’ll still want to make you sure have your vaccination card and/or a copy of your negative COVID test, depending on the latest regulations of your destination. Setting these items aside ahead of time makes your Thanksgiving traveling just a little easier.
Speaking of, you’ll need to make sure you know the regulations of your destination. If you’ll be visiting friends or family, ask them what their local mandates are. Or, a quick Google search of “covid restrictions in (city name)” should be able to help. If you still aren’t finding concrete information, call the hotel you’re staying at and they should be able to give you a definitive answer.
Safety First When Traveling
Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily-traveled days of the year, and with it comes safety concerns. If you’re hitting the road, get your car maintenance done beforehand. Check that your wipers are working, your breaks are in good shape, and if necessary, put those snow chains in your trunk. Always secure pets when they ride in the car with you and of course, wear a seat belt and stay alert when driving.
Airports will be flooded with people, so make sure you’re on high alert. Keep your money and important documents tucked away and close to your body. Never put valuables in the outer pocket of your bag, as it makes it easy for someone to swipe it when you’re not looking. With crowds comes illness, and no one wants to be feeling under the weather on a holiday. Be sure to wash your hands frequently or carry a travel-size hand sanitizer to keep yourself healthy.
Enjoy Your Vacation!
Yes, travel can be stressful. Don’t forget to take time to stop and enjoy your trip! Preparing ahead and thinking through any potential pitfalls will help your travel go smoothly. Thanksgiving is a time for being with the ones we love, eating good food, and reflecting on what we are thankful for. Relish in this time with the people around you and be grateful for the chance to travel. You’ll have a much better holiday if you do!
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