That American Automobile Association (AAA) expects that 4.2 million people will travel by air, 48.3 million will travel by car and 1 million will travel by bus, train or cruise, according to its updated travel forecast. If these estimates are correct, it would bring about 6.3 million more Americans on planes, roads and seas – which could mean higher traffic and longer.
Add shortages of labor and supply across industries, and your Thanksgiving travel plans can prove a little stressful this year. However, it does not have to be a painful process. At least that’s what travel and technology experts say.
Here are four tips professional jetsetters think you should use if you travel before or after Thanksgiving.
1. Leave earlier and pack snacks
Dr. Terika L. Haynes, CEO and Founder of Dynamite travels told Fox News that vacationers will have to leave earlier than usual if they are trying to catch a Thanksgiving flight.
“Travelers should expect long waits at airports for Thanksgiving travel. Travelers should arrive at the airport three to four hours in advance,” Haynes said. “They should also pack snacks if there is a long wait at restaurants due to reduced staff and large numbers of travelers.”
Even if you travel by car, packing snacks for the road can help you save money and time, according to Tim Hentschel, founder and CEO of HotelPlanner.
“If you take your family on a road trip, pack a large cooler with sandwiches and snacks and drinks for the whole family so you don’t have to waste money on more expensive restaurants,” Hentschel said.
Embrace travel apps and digital technology
With all the hustle and bustle that will surely happen around Thanksgiving, it is extremely important to stay up to date with your travel method.
“Travelers should download their airline app for timely updates to schedule changes and / or cancellations,” Haynes said. “SHERPA is also a great tool to use for updated COVID-19 protocols and vacation destination requirements.”
In addition to travel apps, digital technical features on your smartphone or tablet can become your best friend. Rate Safe CEO Baruch Labunski told Fox that he recommends all travelers use digital wallet features as a way to store important documents like boarding passes.
“Even if there is a Wi-Fi or Internet outage or slowdown, having important documents in your digital wallet means you can download them no matter what,” Labunski said.
3. Do not forget your personal protective equipment
According to Haynes, travelers should not leave their personal protective equipment. For flights are face masks federal mandate inside airports and planes. This mandate applies to other forms of public transport, including trains and buses. Even rideshare companies are demanding face masks in light of the ongoing pandemic. Masks are not required in personal cars, however CDC still recommend them to people who can cross roads with large groups.
If you’re not sure what kind of PPE to travel with, Haynes suggests packing extra face masks and rubbing alcohol – this way you do not have to pay for new ones at the airport or at a roadside shop. And if you’re worried that your disinfectant bottle might be too big, TSA allows a 12-ounce hand alcohol bottle per. passenger.
4. Bring entertainment and chargers
There are traffic and flight delays, and when they do, it can mean a long tedious wait. You do not like it if you plan ahead.
Solo travel blogger Jen Ruiz, who publishes travel tips regarding Jen on a jet, told Fox that “Travelers should definitely bring their own entertainment.”
“I like to download a series on my Netflix app or Apple TV that can be viewed without internet,” she continued. “I swear to OverDrive Media Console, an app that lets you download eBooks and audiobooks from your local library to your phone.”
If your chosen entertainment option is an electronic one, you want to make sure that it does not run out of juice.
“Wear a powerbank [for] your phone, kids’ devices, or noise-canceling earphones for noisy flights, “Labunski said.” Having a backup battery charger is an absolute must. “
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