Last Second Travel Tips: Plus, Take Out Thanksgiving?

By: James Flippin · November 23, 2022 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Rush is On

After several years of disruption due to COVID-19, it seems holiday travel is getting back to normal. The number of people hitting the road for Thanksgiving this year could reach pre-pandemic levels, according to the TSA.

Officials say 2.5 million passengers per day — or more — could pass through US airports in the coming week — a number that hasn’t been hit since the airline industry was upended in 2020. Since last Thursday, the daily count has already surpassed 2 million passengers.

That kind of volume will put the entire sector to the test, following a summer filled with delays, cancellations, and reports of staffing shortages. Analysts say the industry has already made one change from 2019: fewer flights, but larger airplanes, netting nearly the same number of seats.

Trusted Travel Tips

If you are flying somewhere ahead of the holiday, make an effort to only use a carry-on bag. This will help you skip long check-in lines, and prove especially useful in the event of a cancellation. Also, consider reserving a spot at the airport parking lot ahead of time. Many are filling up amid the increased volume.

But for most Americans, gas prices are the biggest concern. AAA estimates 49 million will travel by car this Thanksgiving — more than 10 times the estimated number of flyers. If you’re driving, make sure to use apps like Waze (GOOGL) or GasBuddy to find the lowest gas prices in your area. Also while it may not save you cash, avoid driving at peak times so as to beat traffic. If you’ll be heading home this coming Sunday, try to stay off the road between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Nutrition Tradition

For many, Thanksgiving is synonymous with a home-cooked meal. As such, it feels wrong to write a saver guide without addressing the most savory part of the holiday.

This year, meals are more pricey. Inflation and an avian flu outbreak have caused turkey prices to rise 17% per pound in the past 12 months, while flour is up 25%, butter is almost 34% higher, and eggs have spiked 43%.

Those ingredients are pretty important in most recipes, so it’s not hard to see why the traditional Thanksgiving meal will cost 20% more this year than last. It also means the idea of ordering takeout this time around may not be so crazy. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the cost of dining out is up only 8.6% on an annual basis, while eating at home has grown 12.4%.

But for those who demand things be done by the book, fear not: 87% of hosts surveyed by Morning Consult said turkey will be served — because some traditions are non-negotiable.

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