Thursday, October 20, 2011

6 Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Tip #1: Leave the crowds behind. If you haven't made your plans yet, consider vacation rentals by secluded beaches.

Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel Holidays, can frustrate you with delays, crowds and bad weather. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. (Tip #2: Avoid traveling the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, if you can.) But seeing family and friends and enjoying a feast together more than makes up for the hassles. Here are tips to help your Thanksgiving travel go smoother this year.

Tip# 3: Confirm your bookings. Even if you've gotten confirmation on your vacation rental or flight, it doesn't hurt to follow up with a phone call to make sure everything's in order. In all likelihood, everything will be fine, but you might catch a detail that could spoil your Thanksgiving.

Tip #4: Beat the traffic and crowds. If your vacation rental is in a popular destination, expect lines at the airport, and expect traffic to be more congested when you arrive. Leave extra time and you'll eliminate one less pain point. If flights are delayed, you'll be first in line to get the next available seats. If the Florida highways are crowded, you can relax knowing you've got plenty of time. Planning on eating out? Then make your reservations in advance. You can always change your mind.

Tip #5: Avoid lost luggage. If you simply can't avoid taking a lot of bags, consider packing early and using a door-to-door shipping service to have them delivered to your destination. Since airlines are charging hefty fees for luggage now, you're going to have to pay anyway. And unlike an airline, a shipping service will give you a tracking number and tell you where your bags are in route at all times.

Tip #6: For drivers. Watch the weather and be flexible about your route. Have your car serviced and checked out for potential problems. Pack as lightly as possible, especially if you have an overnight stay along the way. And bring plenty of games and videos along for the kids. If you can, plan a special stop along the way that they can look forward to. It will make a long drive seem less boring.