How Bad Thanksgiving Travel Will Be This Year

Thanksgiving travel is expected to be at least as busy as last year, but not quite equal to 2019 levels, however, ticket prices are predicted to be more elevated due to the effects of inflation.

By Trista Sobeck | Updated

Ah, Thanksgiving travel. The excitement of seeing family and friends across the United States flags the beginning of the holiday season!  Wherever you plan on flying for the turkey day festivities this year, you probably wonder what it will be like. Will it be mass chaos or is capacity down due to the higher prices? 

According to CNBC, the prices of flights are up, but the number of people flying is fairly steady. According to a number of sources, because that number is about the same as in past years, chaos may reign. So, be sure to make a plan for your Thanksgiving travel.

Many people are anxious to travel again after the COVID-19 pandemic. Life has gotten back to as normal as possible so travel to friends and family is up there on the list of things to do. 

About 70% of people have some type of Thanksgiving travel plans this year. And a great number of those folks will travel by plane. Although flight tickets have increased in price as of late, due to fuel costs, and rising costs overall, people are so anxious to travel, they don’t seem to mind. 

So, what’s a solid plan that will help you deal with airport chaos during Thanksgiving travel? Should you travel with your stuffing or dressing so it’s ready to eat when you get to your mother-in-law’s? Obviously, no. The point is, you should travel as lightly as possible. 

The fewer bags you have and the fewer packages you have to deal with, the better. Getting through security is one of the most stressful and harrowing experiences you can deal with. So, just be ready.

Expect to be stressed. Expect a lot of people. Expect the unexpected. So, be prepared to wear comfortable clothing, wear socks and slip-on shoes, and remember to remove your laptop from your backpack. Keep track of your things and don’t try to travel with food. That will only slow down your Thanksgiving travel. 

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Cook when you get to your destination. Make sure that whomever you are visiting for Thanksgiving travel has already purchased all the ingredients you need because this year, some types of food and ingredients may be hard to find

Prior to leaving for the airport, make sure you eat. Prices everywhere are up and that includes food at the airport (which is already expensive). So, grab some fruit and some granola bars, make a sandwich, and drink water so you are alert, on point, and have plenty of energy for your Thanksgiving travel day. 

If you’re traveling with kids, explain to them what the airport will be like. There will be a lot of people and they need to listen to you. Explain to them it’s a safety issue and that getting through the airport as fast and safely as possible is the family’s goal. Thanksgiving travel can be fun.

And tell them you need their help! Kiddos can be on their best behavior when they feel they are on a mission. If your children understand that there is a situation where they are absolutely required to behave and the success of your Thanksgiving travel depends on it, they will be happy to help. 

Have your kids pick no more than three little toys or books that they can pack themselves to keep them occupied on the plane. In short, just be ready for lots of people, a little confusion, and a bit of emotion.