Holiday travel can be a headache. But these tips can help you avoid missing your turkey dinner.
Make sure you’re aware of the weather.
If you know where the big fronts are and where winter storms are expected, “that gives you an option to change your routing before you commit to your departure,” FlightAware’s Bangs said.
Stay alert to flight changes and travel advisories.
Your airline’s app and apps like FlightAware will keep you up-to-date on changes. Check your airline’s website for travel alerts or advisories that may allow for fee-free changes in cases of bad weather.
Be aware of what your airline will do in cases of long delays or cancellations.
Bangs points travelers to the Department of Transportation’s new dashboard outlining what the major US carriers will provide to affected passengers.
Take carry-on luggage.
“Try to take that carry-on and not check a bag. It’s only four days,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of travel at AAA.
Have a contingency plan for carry-ons.
Crowded flights may mean that carry-on luggage — plus heavy coats and gifts — will fill up overhead bins fasts. And passengers may have to check their roller suitcases at the gate.
That means being ready to quickly swap what you really need, including valuables, medication, etc., from your suitcase into a smaller bag that fits under your seat.
“The airline cannot take that under the seat bag away from you, but they can stop roller bags and duffel bags, etc. from boarding once they see the bins getting full,” Bangs said.
Make parking reservations early.
“Don’t assume there’s going to be a parking space available” at airport onsite or offsite parking lots, Twidale said.
Tips for drivers: steer clear of highways on Wednesday afternoon.
The vast majority of Americans — nearly 49 million of the 54.6 million traveling for the holiday — are driving to their destinations for Thanksgiving, and AAA has tips for them too:
The window between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. is expected to be the most congested.
Hit the road early on Thanksgiving Day.
On Thursday, the morning hours before 11 a.m. will be less congested.
Avoid this later time period over the weekend.
AAA recommends steering clear of the time between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Watch more tips here:
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