Every year, people will travel by the millions around the Thanksgiving holiday. Some will travel by car, just going to someone's house for the day. Others will take trains or planes to go home - wherever that may be. Some may even take a trip somewhere else - somewhere tropical or new to celebrate the start of the colder season.
But it has been proven that people don't always make the smartest choices when they are traveling. Whether that means they buy something that was too expensive of they pay too much for their Thanksgiving flights, it happens.
Making plans for Thanksgiving travel is always a bit of a fiasco - the prices fluctuate quite a bit and it is difficult to tell if you are getting a deal or whether you are paying far too much.
Flying During the Thanksgiving Holiday
Flying during the Thanksgiving holiday is a bit of a mess - let's be honest. You need to have all of the tools you possibly can to make it easier. Sometimes these tools will be websites and apps, and other times it will just be your common sense and preplanning. It is also reported that travel will be on the rise this year, especially for airports. In fact, the TSA expect 55,000 more passengers per day during the travel season. Right now it looks like Monday will be the best day to travel via plane.
Apps and Websites
Apps and websites are the easiest things to use this holiday season. You will always have your phone with you, so you'll be able to check and update yourself as often as you want. Some apps even allow push notifications so that you won't eat up your battery. Of course, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons to determine which apps to use and which apps will just be a burden to you.
Google Flight is an option for trying to be confident in booking your flight for the best price. They are able to track the prices and predict when they will increase and when they will decrease, if they do.
After you select a specific flight, a notification will alert you to the amount of time you have to book before the fare expires.This can help you make decisions quickly - or to wait a little while. If you don't have a specific flight in mind, you can search for multiple options and find the one that will give you the best price, the fewest detours, or the shortest travel time.
If you are on the go and experience problems and need to book, Google Flights makes it a lot easier.
FareCompare.com has released a new study that analyzed 1.8 million airfares for 100 of the busiest markets during Thanksgiving. This research will help people still looking for flights for the holidays.
It also reveals that, as usual, you will pay a premium for flying on two of the busiest travel days of the year: Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 27. People who choose to travel on those days could pay upwards of 65% more than those who fly on Thanksgiving day and return on Tuesday, November 29.
The study also found that if you don't have a lot of money but want to return home, your best bet is to arrive on Thanksgiving and leave on Black Friday, which will cost you on average $367.
"For Thanksgiving travel, there's really no such thing as a good deal," said Rick Seaney, CEO and Founder, FareCompare. "It's all about finding a better bad deal. And the best way to skirt around the edges is to take an early flight out on Thanksgiving morning and fly back on Black Friday. The airlines know many travelers want to fly the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day and the Sunday after, and they know they're willing to pay more."
Further analysis finds that you should purchase your tickets now instead of waiting. With each and every day that passes, your total price will raise by $2. After Halloween, it will jump as much as $5 per day.
"Procrastinators will pay," Seaney said. "If you know that you're flying over Thanksgiving and see you a price that you like, book it. Don't expect any last-minute bargains."
You should also note that since Election Day, plane fare to Canada has seen a significant increase and that shows no signs of stopping.
Traveling By Plane on Thanksgiving Tips
For some people, the first flight they take will be on Thanksgiving. For others, they don't fly all that often and forget the rules. Here are some money-saving and time-saving trips for Thanksgiving traveling:
- Know your reservations - you'll be able to get through the airport with less stress if you know all of your information. Download apps and/or sign up for text alerts to stay up to date on your flight's status.
- Pre-check if you can.
- Pack light: checking your baggage will just add more time and expenses to your flight.
- Get to the airport early: the airport will be crowded, everything will be slow, and you will need extra time.
- Look up security rules: Look up any questions on the TSA website so that you aren't the person slowing down the line.
- Dress comfortably: even though you do want to look your best when you show up, remember that you will still be on a plane.
Traveling by Train During Thanksgiving Holiday
More and more people are starting to find the joy in traveling by train. It is easier and cheaper for some people who might not like flying, and you can usually find better options in seating. Especially in the midwest, Amtrak is continually adding trains so that people aren't waiting around as much.
Apps and Websites
Just like with planes, there are a bunch of apps and websites that can make traveling by train easier.
Most people who travel by train will be using Amtrak. The Amtrak app allows you to update, plan, and track your train so that you can keep your family up to date and you can change while on the go if something happens. There are also maps that will allow you to get around stations you've never been to before.
If you are going to be in a city like New York, LA, Chicago, or Washington DC and you need help with the subway, you can download the local transportation apps. These differ depending on the city, so you
Traveling by Train Tips
- Know how many carry-ons you can have with you per trip. Without paying extra, you are allowed to have two 50 lb. bags for free. If you have more than that, you will have to check it, which is a fairly simple process.
- Arrive 30 minutes early. No one likes to run through the train station, and arriving early can prevent that.
- Sign up for perks - especially on Amtrak, they are well worth it!
- Tag your luggage or buy something to make it stand out. If you have an extremely fast transfer or you need to check your bags, you need to have a suitcase or bag that you can spot quickly.
- Bring your charger. Most trains and seats will have ample charging options.
- If you are traveling a long distance, make sure to have your camera at the ready. The leaves are changing and the country is at one of its most beautiful stages - and you'll want to monitor it.
Traveling by Car During Thanksgiving Holiday
Apps and Websites
Waze allows you to see just about everything coming up. The police will be out in full force this season, looking for speeders and people who are driving under the influence. If you are going to an unofficial reunion at your local bar or you are traveling across the country to be with your family, you'll need to be on the lookout for them. The Waze app will also keep you abreast of other information like traffic patterns, nearby places for pit stops, and alternate routes.
Driving on Thanksgiving Tips
- With so many people traveling this time of the year, there are bound to be people out there that do stupid things - have patience and take a few deep breaths.
- Leave at a weird time. Don't start at 6 or 7 in the morning. Instead, leave at 4 so that you can beat some of the rush traffic. Or leave at 10PM and arrive in the morning.
- Give yourself plenty of time to make the trip, leave earlier than you think you need to.
- Plan an alternative route just in case something goes wrong.
- Do the drive on Thanksgiving Day - many people will already be at their destinations by then.
- Not matter how bad your trip is before Thanksgiving, Sunday is going to be worse.
Google suggests not traveling on the Saturday after Thanksgiving either.