Last Minute Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Families on the Go from

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Travel Expert and Mom Shares Helpful Travel Tips; Winter Storm Barrels Towards East Coast Complicating Already-Busy Holiday Travel

Travel on Thanksgiving morning to skip the busiest travel day of the year and avoid likely travel headaches.

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Fewer people are traveling for Thanksgiving this year than last year, according to AAA. However, there will still be 43.5 million folks heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house with 90% of travelers taking to the roads.

How can you keep your sanity and the kids happy and entertained? Travel expert, founder of, and editor in chief of Capitol File, Elizabeth Thorp, has some tips on how to make your Thanksgiving travels a bit easier:

1.) Travel on Thanksgiving morning, if possible. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year with thirty-seven percent of travelers expecting to travel.
2.) Return from your destination on Saturday or Monday -- thirty-three percent of travelers are planning on returning on Sunday. (Leaving a day early might not be such a bad thing if you’re at your mother-in-law’s, right?)

Air Travel Tips
1.) Sign up for your carrier's flight status alerts.
2.) Check in online up to 24 hours prior to flight -- confirm your seats and print your boarding pass. It saves time.
3.) Pack light so that you can carry on your bag. This is especially helpful with tight connections. It will also save you money as most domestic airlines now charge for checked baggage.
4.) At the airport, take a picture of your parking lot location with your phone instead of trying to remember where you parked or writing it down.
5.) Purchase a day pass to your airlines lounge or club (ie American Airlines’ Admirals Club or United Lounge) you can stay out of the hustle and bustle of the airport, get extra assistance, be productive or relax in the quieter atmosphere. The lounges have WiFi, TVs, snacks and drinks. Many of these airline lounges have dedicated kid zones, which can save a parent’s sanity if there’s a delay or cancellation.
6.) Bring gum, bottle and/or pacifier if you have kids. Changes in cabin air pressure during descent may cause ear pain in small children.

By Land or By Sea
1.) Snacks! It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling by planes, trains or automobile, a hungry child is one bad passenger. Pack self-contained snacks like raisins, small packs of Goldfish, granola bars.
2.) Charge those devices. Don’t forget to bring your fully charged iPod, iPhone or iPad. Devices can mollify cranky children (and spouses) with games, movies, shows and books. (The devices will also help you track your flights, check weather and traffic conditions and even find the lowest price for gas while you’re on the road.)
3.) Don’t forget crayons, paper, small toys and books to keep wee ones distracted. Family travelers on long trips, go into your playroom dig around to find some forgotten small toys, wrap them and give them as “surprises” along the way.

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Elizabeth Thorp
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