Traveling on Thanksgiving Day in New Jersey? Here’s How to Survive
You'll be thankful you checked out these travel tips.
It's almost impossible to avoid stress during Thanksgiving. If you're hosting dinner, you have to worry about shopping, cooking, and cleaning. If you're visiting family, you have to face the big travel rush.
Yes, there's no place like home for the holiday, but getting there can be difficult. Roads and highways will be busier than usual. Airports are packed with the holiday rush. According to AAA, this year is going to be one of the busiest for travel. They estimate 55 million people will be traveling this year!
To me, the uptick in travelers doesn't come as a surprise, considering travel restrictions are looser than they have been. Many airlines have made their mask mandates optional. Families are allowed to freely gather once again - and they're eager to make up for lost time over the last few years.
So, how can you travel for Thanksgiving without getting caught in a mess? While nothing is 100% certain, there are some steps you can take to make your trip easier.
This is most likely to keep something in mind for next year, but you're flying, I actually recommend flying out on Thanksgiving Day. I took a very early flight out on Thanksgiving one year, hit no traffic on the way to the airport, AND the airport was empty. I made it home just in time to start Thanksgiving dinner. It was perfect.
When flying on the days leading up to Thanksgiving, leave your house extra early to go to the airport. It doesn't hurt to get there earlier than 2 hours prior to your flight, and if anything, you can hit up the airport bar.
Planning on driving to your Thanksgiving destination? You'll also want to leave earlier than usual. In fact, AAA shared the best times to leave:
- Leave before 8 am or after 8 pm on 11/23
- Leave before 11 am or after 6 pm on 11/24
- Leave before 11 am or after 6 pm on 11/25
- Leave before 2 pm or after 8 pm on 11/26
- Leave before 11 am or after 8 pm on 11/27
They also reported that the NY metro area will see a 158% increase in traffic!
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And if all else fails while traveling, remember to take deep breaths!