Keep calm, and get TSA precheck.
Thanksgiving can be a stressful event for Americans across the country as they plan meals, negotiate family feuds, and decide which political topics to avoid at dinner. (Answer: All of them.)
And one aspect of the holiday is set to get a little more difficult, according to figures released Wednesday: Air travel is set to reach a record-high in the 12-day period surrounding Thanksgiving, according to trade group Airlines for America.
An estimated 27.3 million people will fly domestically in this period, accounting for an uptick of 2.5 percent from last year.
While travelers can’t control whether flights are delayed or how crowded airports are, here are a few tips to make even the most stressful trips as comfortable as possible.
Invest in a pair of quality headphones
As babies cry and couples begin their first fight of the holiday season, you can enjoy your music, movie or just silence in peace with some of the best noise-canceling headphones. Here's a few selections for different types of travels, recommended by Travel + Leisure editors.
Get to the airport early (very early)
It may seem like an obvious tip, but so much of the stress of flying can be alleviated by showing up to the airport two hours before your scheduled flight, even on domestic carriers. It gives travelers a chance to go through security and find a seat in the boarding area with time to relax long before the first boarding group is called.
Enroll in TSA PreCheck
One airport expert told T+L that one of the best ways to alleviate travel stress is to enroll in this program that allows you to cut security lines and keep your shoes on, among other benefits.. “TSA PreCheck is the #1 packing tip,” said Rick Seaney, CEO of Fare Compare.
Airport and airplane food is notoriously sub-par. Make sure to have some high protein snacks on hand, like nuts or granola to munch on during your trip.