TripIt Inc.

11/15/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/15/2023 06:21

Traveling This Thanksgiving? Here Are 5 Things to Know

Whether renting a car to head home for Thanksgiving dinner, or boarding an international flight to get away for the week, Thanksgiving travelers will be out in full force: According to TripIt data, flight volumes are up 40%-and international flights are up 51%-from 2022.

While you'll be one of many-many-travelers this Thanksgiving, knowing what to expect for the journey ahead will help you feel confident to navigate crowded airports (and destinations).

Here are five things you should know to help you take on the busiest of travel weeks:

1. When and where everyone else is traveling

According to TripIt data, the busiest travel days will be Wednesday, November 22, followed by Tuesday, November 21; the most popular days for international flight departures will be Friday (Nov 17) and Saturday (Nov 18) before the holiday.

Airports like SFO, LAX, SEA, DEN, BOS, and ORD will be the busiest of the busy airports.

As for destinations, cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Phoenix will see the majority of travelers headed somewhere within the U.S. Most Americans headed abroad will land in London, Tokyo, Cancun, and Paris.

Thanksgiving-historically a road-trip holiday-means rental cars will be in demand, too (in fact, bookings are up 42% from last year). Top destinations for rental car bookings include Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The busiest days for rental car pick-up are the Wednesday (Nov 22) and Tuesday (Nov 21) before Thanksgiving, followed by the Friday and Saturday the weekend before (Nov 17 and 18).

Read more: New York, London Claim Top Spots for Thanksgiving 2023 Travel

Haven't booked your Thanksgiving rental car yet? "First, consider when you really need the car," said Jen Moyse, VP of Product at TripIt. "Perhaps only a few days of your trip require a car instead of the entire duration. You can take a taxi, rideshare, or public transportation to your accommodation, then rent only for the days you explore beyond the local area.

"Being flexible can also pay off. If you can be flexible about the dates you pick up or drop off your car, you can avoid premium rates during peak travel dates, like Thanksgiving."

2. How to deal with delays and cancellations

In a recent TripIt survey, 86% of respondents said recent headlines about travel chaos caused them to adjust their behavior in some way: nearly half (45%) said they now only book with brands they trust; 37% arrive at the airport earlier than ever before; and 34% avoid checking a bag.

"The travel industry is still experiencing labor shortages and flight crews, hotel staff, travel agents, and other service workers are doing the best they can," said Jen. "Practicing patience and civility can help you (and fellow travelers) make the most of your trip this Thanksgiving-even if you do encounter disruptions.

"Plan ahead by packing an extra change of clothes, essential items or medications, device chargers, and snacks in your carry-on bag in case you experience delays."

If you do experience travel disruptions, TripIt Pro's Alternate Flightsfeature can help you figure out what your options are for getting on a different flight if yours is delayed or canceled.

Also, know your passenger rights. In some cases, you might be eligible for compensation. TripIt's partner AirHelp, a company that specializes in helping air passengers claim compensation for eligible delayed, canceled, and overbooked flights to/from/within the European Union (EU) and Brazil, can help streamline the process for you.

Related reading: Canceled or Delayed Flight? TripIt Can Help with Compensation

3. How to plan ahead for weather

Extreme weather events like wildfires, severe heat waves, and floods are becoming more frequent, more intense, and more unprecedented-making weather-preparedness even more important when you're planning and taking a trip.

TripIt now provides the weather forecastbased on your trip itinerary to help you make more informed weather-related decisions before and during your trips.

With this new enhancement to the TripIt app, you can find weather forecasts on the plan details screen for plans with a single address/location. This includes lodging, restaurants, car rentals, and activities, such as concerts, meetings, theaters, tours, and more.

Read more: Prepare for Your Trip with TripIt's IBM-Powered Weather Forecasts (Plus 4 More Tips)

4. How to upgrade-now-and save 50% on TripIt Pro

TripIt is designed to make the process of traveling as organized and stress-free as possible. And while the free version of the app helps you keep track of all your travel plans in one place, those who have the Pro version can tell you it does so much more.

With TripIt Pro, you'll have access to features like:

  • Fare Tracker to notify you if your airfare price drops after you book  
  • Flight alerts to keep you informed about delays or cancellations
  • Connecting Flights to tell you how to find your connecting gate
  • Alternate Flights to help you find new flight options when you need them
  • International Travel Tools to provide you with country-specific travel information, including currency conversion and tipping information

For a limited time, you can save 50% on TripIt Pro*. Upgrade now.

* Offer available to new TripIt Pro customers only.

5. How to navigate international travel right now

Traveling abroad this Thanksgiving? With international flight bookings up 51% from last year, you won't be alone. But there are steps you can take to make a busy time to travel easier to navigate.

1. Register for STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, is a free service for Americans (U.S. citizens and nationals) to register a trip or move abroad with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Americans can enroll in the program by creating an account on the U.S. Department of State's dedicated websiteand completing a profile. During enrollment, you'll provide the details of your trip(s), including the address(es) of where you'll be staying while abroad.

Signing up for STEP yields two primary benefits: (1) local U.S. Embassy and Consular personnel know where to find you if an emergency situation arises, and (2) you receive pertinent alerts, such as demonstration and security alerts, updates to travel advisory levels, and flight departure/evacuation information-should either of those services be needed during your international trip.

Learn more: STEP: What It Is and How to Enroll

2. Research local customs ahead of time

According to a recent TripIt survey, 64% of respondents make learning about the cultural nuances of their destination in advance a priority. This can include everything from planning what to pack, what to wear, and how to greet people, to understanding the cultural or religious events taking place during your visit, and much more.

Researching local customs and norms ahead of your trip can help ensure you not only get everything out of your trip that you hoped for, but also that you're respectful of and knowledgeable about what's important to the people who live in the place you're visiting.

Tip:TripIt Pro's International Travel Toolscan help you better understand the destinations you're headed to, providing information such as the official language(s), tipping guidance, and more.

3. Download the Mobile Passport Control app

Want to speed through customs, but don't have the time to complete a Global Entry application and interview before Thanksgiving? Check out Mobile Passport Control; it's a trusted traveler program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that allows travelers expedited entry into the U.S. from international destinations-but unlike Global Entry, it does not require pre-approval. Simply download the app and submit your passport information to get started.