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Surviving the trip to Grandma’s on Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you live in the United States, the trek to grandmother’s house, or on a  home exchange, can be a stressful one. One reason may be that U.S. airlines expect to carry more than 25 million passengers around the Thanksgiving holiday. This is about a 3% increase compared to last year.

The heaviest travel days will likely be the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday. According to the travel site Orbitz, the top 10 domestic Thanksgiving destinations are the following:

New York   Cancun    Las Vegas
Denver     San Francisco     Dallas     Washington, D.C.

Even if you aren’t flying to these cities for Thanksgiving, or if you are taking your holiday celebrations abroad, you should still expect long lines at ticketing counters and security checkpoints. Flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage, and overbooked flights can easily ruin your holiday trip.

Grandma, Girl, Child, Baby, LoveHere are some tips to help you survive the holiday rush hour at the airport.

Check your flight status before you leave for the airport
Mother Nature can be a buzz kill for vacations. The weather in the United States historically is anything from snowstorms in the north to severe weather in the south. Be sure to check your flight status, especially if you have connecting flights.

Arrive to the airport early
Do not underestimate the lines at the ticketing counter and security lines. You need to give yourself at least 2 hours (if not more) to get from your car (or taxi) to your departure gate. Once you arrive at the airport, you are at the mercy of the airport staff. And trust me; they don’t care if you only have 30 minutes to make your flight. If airports are also undergoing construction, this could add unexpected delays. So don’t risk missing your flight and try to arrive at the airport early.   

Remember to pack “smart”
The more stuff you try to drag into the cabin with you, the longer you will have to wait at the security checkpoint. And the longer you have to wait, the longer the people behind you will have to wait. Be smart about what items you want to carry on with you. Remember, the Transportation Security Administration has strict rules about what you can and cannot bring onboard the plane with you. For their list of items that you can and cannot bring with you, click here. If you are bringing a bag onboard the plane with you, be sure to throw in an extra pair of clothes just in case your luggage doesn’t make it to your final destination.

Be patient
It is easy to lose your cool during what is one of the busiest travel times of the year. The best thing you can do, regardless of the situation, is remain cool and calm. If your flight is delayed, try to make the best out of the situation. Go grab a drink or some food near your gate. Maybe utilize the free airport WiFi to plan fun activities to do once you arrive or plan your 2016 vacation home exchange with

The Thanksgiving holiday is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If you plan ahead, your trek to grandma’s home exchange should hopefully be smooth sailing (or smooth flying in this case).

Thank you to Travel Writer Carla Roberts Pruitt @crobscarla


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