Visit any airport or freeway at Thanksgiving, and you'll agree that Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of year. Prepare yourself for your Thanksgiving trip by following this guide on how to plan for Thanksgiving travel.
Prepare your home. While you're away over Thanksgiving, make sure that your home is properly cared for. Ask a trusted neighbor or loved one to stop in and check on the house every few days. If you have pets, you'll have to make arrangements for their care as well. If you can, set your lights on timers so that they'll go on and off while you're away. And ask a neighbor to park in your driveway to scare off thieves. You may also want to turn off any electrical devices that you won't need while you're gone. Some prefer to disconnect water pipes to the washer as well, but if you're only gone for a few days over Thanksgiving, this probably isn't necessary.
Pack your bags. While you're away, make sure you'll have everything with you to make your Thanksgiving an enjoyable one. Pack enough clothes, but not too many, keeping in mind the weather conditions at your Thanksgiving travel destination. As well, remember to pack any photos that you've been dying to share with your family from last year's Thanksgiving festivities. As always, take directions if you're driving (or a GPS!). And don't forget to bring the phone numbers of important people with you so that you can always get in contact with them in the event that something unexpected happens.
Take something to keep you (or the kids) occupied. Whether you're flying or driving, Thanksgiving travel can be long and boring, especially for younger travelers. Control boredom during your travels by packing lots of things to do. If you're flying, keep books, small video games and an mp3 player in your carry-on bag. If you're driving, you might also consider bringing travel games, portable DVD players and a collection of CDs that the entire family may enjoy singing to. Travelling at night will allow kids to sleep during the trip. If you can do this, you will enjoy a quiet, peaceful ride to your Thanksgiving destination.
Give yourself some extra time. When you plan for Thanksgiving travel, you must leave early. There is no telling what weather or traffic situations you'll find yourself in. And you certainly don't want to miss the carving of the turkey! So give yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination.
Relax. The increased amount of people in airports and traffic on the roads over Thanksgiving may leave your nerves frazzled. But keep in mind that these people are just trying to get to their families, just like you. Be patient and realize that you'll get their eventually. You can't plan every step of your way as you travel over Thanksgiving, but you can plan to expect the unexpected. Travel with lots of snacks and activities as you travel to your destination over Thanksgiving and you'll be with your extended family before you know it.