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5 Hassle-Free Travel Tips For Thanksgiving

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Family Fun

Thanksgiving is just days away, kicking off the holiday season.

Millions of Americans are taking to the roads, or boarding trains and planes around the country this holiday. The Couch asked associate editor of Travel + Leisure magazine, Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, to stop by to come by and give us hassle-free travel tips.

1. Travel on Thanksgiving morning. You’ll find fewer crowds (and often lower airfares) if you travel on Thanksgiving morning, and then back home on Tuesday. Amtrak’s busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Saturday and Sunday following the holiday. These days are likely to sell out quickly. They are scheduling extra trains to accommodate additional passengers in the Northeast, Midwest, and on the West Coast.

2. Book early and allow extra time. According to a TripAdvisor survey, 41 percent of people flying booked earlier than normal this year, while 35 percent opted to drive because of the expense of air travel. During prime holiday travel times, there are often delays at security checkpoints. Travelers should confirm airline flight status before leaving for the airport to avoid waiting at the airport and arrive two hours early even for domestic flights.

3. Print out your boarding pass at home when traveling by plane. It’s a simple trick that will save you time – one less line to wait on.

4. Consider using a smaller, alternative airport to give yourself more options as you search for flights. Try flying out of  Westchester Airport instead of JFK or LaGuardia, and into Burbank instead of Los Angeles’ LAX.

5. Book a vacation between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In between the holidays, it’s relatively quiet and there are more deals available.