These 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel can make getting together with family and friends much easier. We’ve all heard horror stories of long lines at the airport, cranky kids and other holiday travel nightmares. No one wants to be in any of these situations.
There’s no guarantee that something out of the ordinary will happen on your trip. The fact is that things do happen. The list below has 11 great tips to help reduce stress on your trip. With these ideas you’ll be able to say goodbye to travel stress and hello to the joy of gathering with family.
#1 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Can it really get you there faster than driving?
Look at your overall time to decide which is faster. Parking the car, the 2 hour security window, check-in and picking up the rental car can add 3-4 hours to your trip. This doesn’t include getting to the airport, connections or actual flight time. It also doesn’t include the driving time to get to your destination from the airport.
You may be better off by driving if your road trip will take less than 7 hours (including breaks).
#2 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Check your vehicle.
Nothing spells stress like a mechanical breakdown. Check oil, fluid levels and tire pressure before leaving. Make sure these match your owner’s manual specifications before any road trip.
#3 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Check with automobile club before leaving.
Be sure your membership is valid. Hopefully you won’t need it. Knowing it’s available can give you peace of mind.
#4 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Keep the kids happy.
Pick up toys and travel games to keep the kids occupied. Adding in a few new ones from the dollar store can help too.
#5 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Resist the temptation to bring the kitchen sink. You probably won’t need two bottles of shampoo or extra toothbrushes. Bring what you need. If you forget something you can pick it up later or borrow from a family member.
#6 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
You are going to a feast. That doesn’t mean the kids (or you) won’t be hungry before you get there. A few packs of crackers or a couple of sandwiches can keep traveling tummies happy. If flying, be sure to check first to see what you can bring.
#7 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Bring CDs or download songs before the trip. Music can be a great stress reliever.
#8 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Get good directions.
Download and print maps. Pick up additional information from your automobile club regarding road closures or traffic delays. You will reduce the likelihood of getting lost and lower your stress.
#9 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Plan a budget.
Knowing how much you can spend and on what gives you freedom to enjoy purchases. Keeping spending in line will reduce stress on your Thanksgiving travel and eliminate nasty credit card bills later.
#11 Top 10 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Bring an extension cord.
In this world of electronics it can pay to have an extension cord available. Airline flights may require that you stow it in your suitcase. If you are driving, tuck it into your purse or backpack. Having one can mean the difference between charging your laptop battery or phone and staring at a dead battery.
#11 Top 11 tips for stress free Thanksgiving travel
Keep your eye on the big picture.
Delayed flights, traffic conditions and family expectations can add stress. Remind yourself that getting together with family is the reason for your Thanksgiving travel. If you happen to run late or the kids are cranky take it in stride. After all, you are there and this is what’s most important.