Thanksgiving is always one of the busiest travel times in the U.S. This year is no different.
AAA predicts 51 million Americans will make a trip of over 50 miles over the holiday, and Airlines for America anticipates 28.5 million in airports.
While traffic might be unavoidable, stress can be kept to a minimum at the airport when you keep these travel tips in mind.
Check your bag before TSA does
If you’re in charge of the turkey this year, fear not! Cooked and frozen turkeys are allowed to fly in your carry-on.
Live turkeys will face restrictions, though. Make sure everything you packed in your carry-on is approved by the Transportation Security Administration.
If you have any liquids, follow the 3-1-1 rule. All liquids must be 3.4 ounces or less per container. You are allowed one quart-sized, zip-top bag, per one passenger.
Don’t forget to wear easy shoes to take off in line, and be prepared to take all electronics larger than a phone out of your bag.
Get there early
General Mitchell Airportsuggests arriving at least two hours ahead of your scheduled flight. This gives you plenty of time to check in, get through security and dwell on how to avoid politics at the Thanksgiving table this year.
Check on your flight
Make sure to stay updated on your flight. Times are frequently changed and this could force you to adjust your travel schedule.
This also includes checking to make sure there have been no gate changes to prevent a last-minute turkey trot through the terminal. Most airlines have mobile apps that are easy to navigate.
Avoid peak days
If you want to avoid the largest crowds, then you might not want to book your flight on Wednesday or Sunday. These are expected to be the busiest days at airports across the country.
Thanksgiving day will see the fewest amount of fliers, but this runs the risk of missing the feast if your flight is canceled.
Check the weather
You can plan ahead of time for delays or cancellations by checking the weather 72 hours before your flight.
Remember to check both the local weather and your destination’s forecast for when you land.