Does the thought of turkey, gravy and pumpkin pie have your mouth watering? As you prepare for the biggest food holiday of the year, you may be preparing for your trip during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. We have some tips to keep your travels stress-free all while keeping the essence of Thanksgiving in mind.

Thank your host
First thing is to remember why you’re traveling. Whether you’re visiting family, friends or future in-laws, it’s a nice gesture to buy or make a thank-you gift for your host or hostess. If you have limited space in your suitcase, ship the gift instead of carrying it with you. Pinterest and Etsy have a few good gift suggestions. If you’re traveling with little ones, pack a few small gifts to surprise them and keep them busy.

Prepare for the unexpected
Stay on top of problems or delays, by downloading TripAdvisor’s GateGuru which provides information on flight status, gate location and restaurants that surround it. It’s also wise to follow your airline on Twitter for flight updates or to ask non-urgent questions. If you’re not following Fast Park in social media you should also connect with us also on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll post information on facilities or road delays that we’re aware of. You can also call any of our facilities before you leave to check on availability and we’ll do our best to provide you with an update.

Keep track of the weather. While we can’t control the weather, we can control what we wear and what we pack. Research weather trends and plan accordingly. Dress in layers on the actual day of travel. If you’re lucky to have beautiful weather throughout your entire trip, that’s enough to be thankful for.

If you’re planning to check bags, make sure everyone is carrying at least one item of clothing for other family members. Even if one bag goes missing, everyone will still have something clean to wear. Once you’re packed and on your way, take a moment to share with your family what you’re thankful for.

Sit back and relax
While it’s easier said than done, mentally prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. According to The Travel Channel (and many other resources) the busiest travel day of the year is always the Wednesday before Thanksgiving following by the Sunday after. If you have to travel on these days, be prepared for crowded highways on your way to the airport, congested terminals and overflowing lines at the airport Starbucks. Plan ahead by loading your iPad with relaxing tunes, or your favorite TV shows to help keep you distracted, and relax your muscles if you hit turbulence on the plane. Or take things a step further and check out this article on 4 Reasons to Meditate on a Plane (And How to Do It).

Most of all, remember what you’re thankful for this holiday season and it should help you get to that turkey dinner in no time at all!

Are you an expert Thanksgiving traveler? We want to hear where you’re going and what your tips are on Facebook or Twitter