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Count down to Thanksgiving – Plan and prepare with these tips!

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We’re in the final stretch, heading toward the start of the 2017 holiday season.  And, it all starts with Thanksgiving.  The traditions, family gatherings, and delicious food are the ingredients for giving thanks, this holiday season.

It’s time to start planning and getting your plans organized and finalized. Here are our tips to ensure you stay on a budget, have a great time and everyone celebrates in style.

Book flights, hotels, car rentals early – at least 45 – 30 days ahead of time
If you missed this time frame, there is no need to worry. There are still deals and discounts. For the travelers, this holiday season booking car rentals and hotels early is important to ensure you get what you want and need at your destination.  It’s no fun to hear, “there are no cars available!”

DSC_2474Flying – book earlier flights
Early flights are less likely to be affected by delays.  As the day continues flights, delays can occur.  Airplanes are scheduled to fly from destination to destination throughout the day.  A delay in one city can cause a ripple effect and result in your aircraft not arriving at your departure airport for an on-time departure.

Consider alternate airports
You can save money, avoid crowds and greet everyone less hassled and stressed.  Smaller airports are not usually our first go-to for travel plans. When booking flights, we may think there are fewer options, but that’s not always true.  The departure and arrival time you want may be available.  To save money and avoid crowds and holiday rush • Fly non-stop to prevent extra stress, missed flights, and delays • Rest up before hitting the road – travel is stressful, regardless of

Fly non-stop
The best way to avoid additional stress, missed flights and delays is to flying non-stop.  Avoid running from gate-to-gate.  Get on one airplane, settle in and when the plane lands you’re at your destination.

Rest up before hitting the road
Travel is stressful, regardless of your mode of transportation.  A well-rested traveler is a happy one.  No one wants to travel with a grouch!  A sharp, clear mind helps make smart decisions.  No forgetting things, especially the turkey.  The most important reason to rest before starting your journey is the safety of everyone traveling.  Get enough rest the night before driving to your destination, and everyone will arrive ready to start the celebrations.

Note the busy days of Thanksgiving
Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be very busy – also Saturday before & after Thanksgiving.  And,  the crowds are will be the Sunday after. If your schedule allows, avoid traveling during all or part of the busy period.  Less traffic and smaller groups of people will be your reward

What makes you anxious?  Think of strategies to overcome panic or fear.
What makes you anxious? Think of strategies to overcome panic or fear.

Prepare for long lines
You will undoubtedly find longer lines at airports, car rentals, train and bus stations.  You’ll even see longer wait times checking into your hotel.  Be prepared with your patience ready to handle a little extra time to get things done

At the airport be prepared for TSA Security
Going through security can feel like a hassle.  We are asked to take off belts, jewelry, keys from pockets, remove electronics – cell phone and computers – on and on! Sometimes it’s hard to remember the procedures are for our safety, and it’s over pretty soon.  Avoid wearing belts and jewelry and opt for pull-on pants and comfortable tops which don’t require belts and there is less chance for you to forget something in one of the pockets.

Take along hand sanitizers and wash your hand.
When traveling, we are touching many, many hard surfaces.  From doorknobs to countertops to handrails, our hands are on surfaces filled with germs and bacteria. Wash your hands when possible and keep hand sanitizers in your purse, backpack or carry-on, readily available for frequent use.

Pack snacks and empty water bottles
A bite on the road is always welcomed and bringing along your own is less expensive than purchasing along the way.  Save money and enjoy what you’re like with packing a snack in small travel lunch cooler-bags.  They don’t take up much room, and your meals are right by your side.

Don’t forget your chargers
Not only is our advice to bring them along, but we highly suggest bringing an extra one. Keep car charges with you too!

7K0A0743Travel light
You move faster with less stuff that’s a fact.  But, the holiday season also means gift-giving season. If your plans include taking gifts, plan to ship them ahead of time. It requires extra planning and expense, but the energy, effort, and stress you save it well worth it.•

Flying – check the airline’s website to confirm carry-on luggage allowance
Plan for checked or carry-on options.  Each carrier has their luggage allowance and carry-on bag regulations on their website.  Take a look before you arrive and avoid any surprises.

For solo travelers
Always pack and carry what you can comfortably handle yourself.  The important tip is one to keep in mind not only for ease of travel but to stay ahead of the unknown and unforeseen.  You never know what situation you may find yourself in when traveling. You could be delayed and arrive at your destination late at night requiring you to walk further than planned.  If this happens, you’ll want to be able to handle your belongings yourself and avoid struggling with bags and packages. Pack and carry what you can comfortably and securely handle. Don’t plan on a kind passerby to help you lift and carry luggage.  In this day and time, there are no guarantees someone will happen along to help.  

Disappointed in your hotel choice! It can ruin your whole vacation!
Disappointed in your hotel choice! It can ruin your whole vacation!

Manage your expectations 
Stay positive and keep your expectation in line with the time of year.  Know everyone is trying to make things work and service personnel and staff will be stressed as well. – make adjustments to reduce stress

Get real about your organization style
Does it take longer for you to get packed? Or maybe you want things to fall into place exactly as expected.  Whatever your organizational style remember there are much more people out and about who have their style too.  And, this most likely first includes your travel buddies.

roadsideassistance
Use apps to help make managing your trip easier and less expensive.
On the road – use Gas Buddy to find stations and compare prices. Bonus – the app tells you where the clean bathrooms are. Now that’s a real plus!  Another great app when flying is Gate Guru – keep up with any gate changes for your flight.  Airline apps – Load the app for the airline you’re flying.  You will find updates, info about the terminals, locate airline club around the system.  Trip Case is a great app.  Load all the details of your trip and keep confirmation numbers and details in one place.  The Waze app will find the best traffic routing and share comments from other travelers about road conditions along your route.  Google Maps – Annita’s favorite for directions – great for recalculating new routes.  The best tip for apps is to only load apps you’ll use. They will chew-up storage space on your device.

 

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