Hitting the road for Thanksgiving should be a highlight of the year, but sometimes the hassles are enough to make us want to give up holiday travel cold turkey. This year, heed these tips from IgoUgo travelers and Travelocity editors for stress-free trips that virtually guarantee happy holidays.
First, bookmark The Window Seat before you fly (or pick up your guests from the airport) next week. On November 20 and 21, the Thanksgiving Task Force (aka Travelocity editors) will patrol the nation’s top airports and regularly post updates on security and check-in wait times, parking situations, delays, and more. Start preparing now by taking a look at the airports that will be included in the coverage.
And don’t forget zabelle’s sound advice: “Get into the moment.” She says her holiday, complete with her daughter’s “family of hooligans,” will be “pandemonium,” but she stays sane by accepting that she won’t be relaxing; she’ll be having “loads of fun” instead. She also volunteers to cook wherever she is—at her cottage or away on Cape Cod—to avoid the less glamorous set-up and clean-up duties.
Some travelers choose the opposite tactic. ”I never mind traveling for Thanksgiving,” says barbara, “as long as I don’t have to cook the turkey!” Keeping this lucky detail in mind helps her maintain her sanity on the road, but the fact that they’re traveling at all soothes barbara and family. She says the real stress begins when the group is home for too long at a stretch.
Frequent road-tripper creekland agrees that the secret to happy holiday travel is reveling in leaving the heavy cooking to someone else—even if it’s 80+-year-old Grandma, who “insists on making the turkey.”
Similarly, the headline from vampirefan is to “let someone else do the cooking,” but she saves her entire family the hassle: they’re headed on a stress-free Charleston trip where a restaurant will serve up the turkey and its trimmings. She’s pushing for Christmastime trips, too, as long as they’re “somewhere away from the hassles of holiday travel.”
SkewedStyle also recommends going somewhere unexpected. Her favorite holiday trip was last year’s family vacation to Taiwan, where we’d guess the Thanksgiving rush isn’t half bad. Take another page from her Thanksgiving playbook and plan an escape from your escape. She typically makes sure to follow up “whole-family time in LA” with a trip to her brother’s home in San Francisco to recover with some stress-busting parties.
Wildcat Dianne’s best advice is to stick close to home. After past experiences that involved driving hours on a “dark, foggy, mountain road,” she’ll head to a nearby friend’s house this year, making sure to bring “something for the table.” Something much more portable than a suitcase, we’re sure!
If you are set on a long-distance trip, we leave you with Idler’s words of wisdom: “Leave before and return after the holiday travel rush. Make a reservation at a nice restaurant for dinner—again, either before or after the main rush. Repeat procedure for Christmas.” Well said!