Thanksgiving Travel Tips

by Country Inns & Suites
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving is a popular holiday for travel – we fly to visit family members who live far away, drive a few hours to share a meal with friends, or head down the street to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones who live nearby. With so many people heading to airports and hitting the roads this time of year, stress, worry, and agitation can become the ruling emotions while traveling.

Thanksgiving table

We’ve pulled together five helpful travel tips so that you can get to your destination with as little stress as possible and focus on enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family:


  1. Don’t wait until the last minute

    If you’re planning to go out of town for Thanksgiving, plan your trip ahead of time. The holiday season is a popular time for travel, which means that the hotel you were planning to stay at may be booked weeks or month in advance. Other holiday services also fill up fast around this time of year, such as dog boarding facilities (for those of you with furry family members) and bakery reservations for holiday foods you may want to bring along on your visit.  If you don’t have your plans made yet, it’s not too late to get started!

  2. Pack for unpredictable weather

    November can be a strange time of year for the weather – one day it definitely feels like winter and the next it’s a beautiful fall day. Check the weather for your destination before you pack, and plan for things to change. Pack layers so you’ll be ready for a nice warm day and for the surprise snowstorm that hits in the middle of your visit.

  3. Plan for any food you’re bringing

    It’s Thanksgiving, which means that the focus is mostly on food. If you’re driving to the home of friends or family and are bringing a side dish or dessert along with you, make sure that you have a travel-safe container to bring it in. To make things easy for you and your host, pack your dish in a disposable container that you won’t mind throwing away or leaving at the host’s house if there are leftovers.

  4. Avoid traveling during peak times

    We all know how hectic travel can be during the holidays, and that it can lead to a stressful vacation. To avoid some of the long lines at airport security and traffic jams on the highway, plan to travel outside of the peak Thanksgiving travel times, such as the days before and after Thanksgiving. The more flexible you can be with your travel plans, the less crowded the airports and roads will be during your trip.

  5. Expect delays

    If you can’t be flexible with your travel plans and have to fly or drive during the peak days and times for Thanksgiving travel, make time for delays in your schedule. For those of you flying to your Thanksgiving destination, be sure to get to the airport early enough that the crazy line for security won’t cause you to miss your flight. If you’re driving, prepare for traffic jams during your trip, especially if you’ll be driving on popular highways and interstates or through big cities.


Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling across the country for Thanksgiving, we wish you a safe and happy trip! Do you have any other great Thanksgiving travel tips that you’d like to share with us? Leave them in the comments section below – we’d love to hear them!