LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23:  Traffic comes to a stand still on the northbound and the southbound lanes of the Interstate 405 freeway near Los Angeles International Aiprort  on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Orbitz named LAX as the nation's busiest airport for 2011 Thanksgiving travel.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Photo courtesy of CBS SF Bay Area

Holidays are nothing without the hustle and bustle of getting your family from one place to another. The day before Thanksgiving is no exception as it’s one of the busiest travel days of the year. According to the auto club AAA, 48.7 million Americans are predicted to travel this Thanksgiving, with a majority of them traveling by car. That’s the busiest Thanksgiving travel season that we’ve seen since 2007! In order to help make this year’s travel plans a little easier, we put together a list of our top tips for traveling on the day before Thanksgiving.

Photo courtesy of Nalley Honda

1.   Plan Ahead and Be Prepared for Anything

With 89% of travelers moving by car this Thanksgiving, it’s important to plan for emergencies before you leave. Planning your travels ahead can help you save some time and avoid headaches. Before you hit the road, download the Red Cross Emergency app for expert advice, emergency contacts, and more. Other apps such as WAZE and Google Maps can help choose the best travel route. Be sure to fuel up before you get on the road and check the weather to avoid any unexpected weather conditions.

Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.com
Photo courtesy of Quicken Loans

2.   Consider Package Deals

The holidays are a great time to think about putting travel money toward a package deal. Bundle pricing can help travelers save hundreds of dollars by booking your flight, hotel, and rental car all in one purchase. Before picking the first deal you see, make sure to shop around and see what other options are out there!

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph

3.   Pack Smart

If you’re flying, pack light to avoid baggage fees and long lines at the airport. Pack your essentials into a carry-on along with your personal items for a quick and easy airport experience. If you’re driving, make a checklist of what you’ll need to bring for the drive there. Traveling with children is always easier if you bring snacks, games, and any electronics you might need. Also, plan on bringing an emergency road kit in case of any unexpected difficulties on the road.

Photo courtesy of 123RF

4.   Pick The Best Route

If you can avoid taking highways on the day before Thanksgiving, you might want to consider doing so. Taking highways during the holiday season can be a recipe for disaster if not planned accordingly. As we all know, highways can be full of congestion and accidents. If you have to take the highway, tune into your local radio station to see if there are any delays. Leaving early in the day can help you avoid these setbacks that could add hours to a normally speedy trip.

Photo courtesy of Wallet Hub

5.   Get An Early Start

Data from Google Maps suggests that the busiest times to travel on the day before Thanksgiving are between 3-5 pm. Try to leave before 3 pm on Wednesday or later that evening to avoid the gruesome traffic. Flying? Give yourself plenty of time at the airport. TSA and baggage check lines will be longer than normal on this day. Check out this New York Times article on when you should leave your house this Thanksgiving weekend.

Photo courtesy of Time

6.   Be Patient

Holiday travel can be extremely challenging and stressful. Try to remember that almost everybody will be trying to get to their families on this day. Staying calm will create a more pleasant environment for everybody and will protect your health by managing your stress. Bring a book to avoid dying electronics, or use noise-cancelling headphones to keep your mind calm while at the airport.

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