The dreaded day-before-thanksgiving travel is upon us. This year, let these calm, cool, and collected tips act as your travel companion. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, keep in mind you are traveling to see family or loved ones, and in this case, getting there is half the journey. Avoid lines, road rage, and headaches, with a little planning, strategic thinking, and deep breaths.
By this time you have your flight booked, and hopefully a seat assignment; our advice below helps you navigate the airport terminals in the day(s) before Thanksgiving.
- Get there 2.5+ hours early. The earlier the better. It’s easier to wait with extra time at the gate, then anxiously wait in the security line as the minutes tick down. Don’t assume that your early morning flight indicates a quieter airport – all rules are out the window this time of year.
- Bring noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs. Lots of people equals lots of noise. Airport announcements, crying babies, angry tempers, excited yells, it all adds up. Take some quiet time for yourself amidst the chaos with your favorite playlist, or simply, some peace and quiet.
- Snacks & H2O Essentials. Bring a water bottle to fill, and some security-friendly snacks. Not only is airport food crazy expensive, and typically unhealthy, but the lines will be long and full of hangry, stressed out people. Keep up your energy and patience with a healthy snack, and lots of water. Flying dehydrates your body faster due to elevation, so drink more than you think!
Trekking by Trains:
Large, metropolitan train stations are sometimes just as bad as airports this time of the year. The tips for airport travel are easily applicable here, with some minor adjustments as well.
- Arrive an hour early. While you do not need to go through security in most cases, there are still queues for seats, and you don’t want to be left sitting next to the bathroom.
- Upgrade Seats. If you have the opportunity, upgrade to the quiet car or first class to avoid extra hustle, bustle, and noise.
- Get some work done. Take advantage of traveling without being in the driver’s seat. Get some extra work done, work on your passion project, or focus on something else to make the time fly by.
First and foremost, stay calm, patient, and alert. You will hit traffic, and there will be delays, but you can make the most of it!
- Leave earlier than you think. If you are giving yourself an extra hour to get to your destination, add an extra 30 minutes and leave an hour and a half earlier.
- Create a playlist or buy a book on tape. Don’t rely on the radio during this time of need – take actions ahead of time and create a euphoric playlist, or listen to that new book on your reading list.
- Stay alert. Drink tea, coffee, and lots of water to keep your senses heightened of interferences, traffic, and most importantly, other drivers. Road rage is no joke, and bad traffic can elevate tempers quickly. Keep calm, and drive on.
These quick tips are important no matter how you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, near or far, this will give you some peace of mind.
- Exercise before you travel. Get your energy up, clear your mind, and release endorphins.
- Eat a meal. Give yourself protein, energy, and stamina – physically and mentally.
- Be mindful. Take deep, cleansing breaths when you’re heart rate or stress levels rise.
- Focus inward. When you can’t control your frustration, focus on calming thoughts and things that make you happy.
- Stay hydrated. Water will keep your mind alert, and avoid feelings of lethargy and cloudiness.
However you’re traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, be safe, stay cool, and keep your wits about. Being angry, stressed, or frustrated, will not get you to your destination any faster, so do your best to enjoy the journey and stay calm & happy.