5 Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Avoid the Holiday Madness

Thanksgiving travel tips can ease away some of the pain associated with the state of congestion at airports during the holidays.

Some 48.7 million Americans are expected to travel this year for Thanksgiving, according to AAA. It may be one of the most stressful holidays to plan but Thanksgiving travel doesn’t have to suck if you follow our Thanksgiving travel tips of 2016.

I will be traveling one day before Thanksgiving and anticipate lots of people, noise, and cranky fliers. However, I am gearing up for my trip with some tips I follow to make travel less stressful.

RECOMMENDED: 10 Healthy US Airport Food Finds That Won’t Disappoint You—We Promise!

5 Thanksgiving travel tips to avoid the holiday madness

1. Check-in online before your flight.

Save time, select your seat, and get your boarding pass. Airlines usually allow you to check in 24 hours before your flight.

Online check-in tells the airline that you’re coming. This prevents them from kicking you off the flight and selling your ticket at the last-minute to someone else.

Once at the airport, if you are traveling with carry-on baggage only, go directly to your boarding gate.

Traveling with suitcases? Drop them off at our counters and head to your flight’s departure gate. But it’s easier to just bring a carry-on and here’s why…

thanksgiving travel tips

2. Only bring a carry-on.

If you’re only traveling for a couple of days and want to avoid the cost (and the headache) don’t check a bag. Besides, if you need more stuff you can always shop.

thanksgiving holiday travel tips
PHOTO via Twitter by ‏@TSAmedia_MikeM

3. Pack your carry-on right.

The TSA website states that “you are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.”

Want to bring a turkey on your carry on? It’s allowed and so are cakes, pies, and bread.  Bottles of wine are a no-go since they do not follow the TSA liquid rules. Unfortunately.


4. Bring your own water bottle – without the water.

No need to throw away your water bottle and then buy one for $5 at the airport. Their many airports with Hydration Stations to fill up your bottle and keep you hydrated during your travels.

But why the “no water bottle” rule?

A Boing Boing post titled, “Aviation’s war on moisture turns ten today” writes that “[t]en years ago, British domestic security claimed to have caught a terrorist cell that had planned to blow up airplanes with a gel they’d carry on in a Gatorade bottle and detonate with an iPod.” The outcome of this incident has set up the world with strict liquid travel laws.

RECOMMENDED: Drink Water: 10 Important Reasons to Drink More Water

5.  Bring your own food.

If you are not an airport food expert, it’s best to prepare your own snack and bring it with you. The worst feeling is to get hangry in a congested airport with no decent food options. Here are some airport healthy eating tips from some dietitians on the move. 

Trying to stay sane at the airport during the busiest travel time could lead some to lose it. Our advice, don’t.

Let’s not forget the Thanksgiving spirit of sharing and gratitude.  To be grateful that we can travel to visit our families or escape the weekend away with our love.

Make your Thanksgiving travel day happy with our list of  “Top 10 Things Happy People Do” before they head to the airport.

Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATED November 19, 2018

Cristina Alcivar

Founder and Editor of Vane Airport Magazine. Passionate about everything well-being, love travel, the ocean, and the sun.

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