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Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips

by Lux Joseph 22. November 2013

One of the busiest travel times of the year is just around the corner. Typically when there is a high volume of travelers it tends to be a direct correlation to how busy Commercial Medical Escorts is. When individuals are traveling, that is when our service is needed most. While for many Thanksgiving is a holiday and time away from the office, CME is still open and ready to assist those travelers in need of our service. CME is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. There isn’t a moment when our operations team cannot be reached to further assist you.

A couple weeks ago I discussed the history of travel during Thanksgiving and the positive trends in air travel as reported by ARC. However, AAA is showing something a little different. AAA reports that 43.4 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the 44 million people who traveled last year. AAA believes that this decline is due to a slow recovering economy. Although our economy is currently not in a recession, it is slowly recovering from the recession that we experienced in 2008-2009. With a slowly recovering economy consumers have uncertainty of what is going to happen and therefore are cautious with their spending. For those traveling by car, it appears as those the gas prices have had a slight decline in the last couple of months with the average price in Florida at $3.34 gallon.

Although AAA is report a decline travel, that doesn’t mean the roads and airports will not be busy so we encourage you to follow the following holiday travel tips:

·         Arrive Early- TSA can get backed up during heavy travel times, but especially during the holidays. Arriving early at the airport will ensure you have plenty of time to check-in, clear security and relax prior to your flight. Wednesday is the busiest day for travel and you should anticipate long lines. If you are not checking any luggage, check in on your mobile device or online and print your boarding pass. Skipping the check-in counter will save you time.

·         Be Flexible- traveling during the holidays can be hectic and bring unforeseen changes to your travel schedule. Your flight may be affected by a snowstorm or weather from a different area that will affect your flight. Understand that this is to be expected and know that the agent at the counter is not responsible for this so be patient and respectful. If you used a travel agent for your booking, contact them immediately when there is a change in schedule or canceled flight. They can hold you on the next flight.

·         Pack Accordingly- keep in mind that almost every airline is now charging to check your bags to your final destination. This doesn’t mean over pack your carry on luggage so that it is so big it cannot fit in the overhead space and you upset a long line of customers waiting to board. When it isn’t busy you may be able to get all the way to the gate with oversized carry on bags before they are identified, but during the holidays TSA will be stepping up enforcement to assist the airlines

·         Avoid Driving to the Airport- an increased number of travelers will be going to the airport during the holidays and that means airport parking will be very limited. If you do drive, you may be forced to pay holiday parking prices, limited to only off-site parking lots if the regular lots are filled, and this may cause unnecessary stress. Consider asking a friend or family member to drive you, use a private car service, or even look into public transportation. 

·         Do Not Wrap Gifts- if you are traveling with gifts, do not waste your time wrapping them. If TSA doesn’t like what they see in the scanner, they will unwrap it. It would be best to send them by mail via USPS, FedEx or UPS, but if that isn’t an option TSA suggests waiting until your final destination to wrap them.

·         Remaining Calm- many of our previous blog entries have discussed the anxiety and stress that comes along with traveling. It is important to bring things with you that may eliminate those feelings. If music relaxes you, make sure to bring your iPod and headphones. If reading calms you, bring your book to read in the terminal. Consider getting some earplugs so you can zone out the distractions around you.

 

At Commercial Medical Escorts, traveling is a part of our every day lives. Each travel season, AAA will provide a forecast of what to expect. This forecast is a good insight to the travel season and what can be expected. Highlights from this report include:

·         Thanksgiving travelers to total 43.4 million, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the 44 million who traveled last year

·         Ninety percent of travelers or 38.9 million to travel by automobile, a decline of 1.6 percent

·         Median spending expected to drop nearly seven percent to $465, compared to $498 last year.

·         The Thanksgiving holiday is a less expensive holiday for travelers compared to other holidays. This year Labor Day spending was expected to be $804, Independence Day $749 and Memorial Day $659.

·         Holiday air travel to decline 3.7 percent to 3.14 million travelers from 3.26 million in 2012

·         Average distance traveled to increase to 601 miles from 588 miles.

·         The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the busiest single day of travel with 37 percent of travelers departing for trips Nov. 27.

 

To read the full report visit www.AAA.com  or click on this link: http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/6-Thanksgiving_2013_Final.pdf.


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