Tips for Parents
Thanksgiving Break Travel: For Best Results, Plan Ahead
Thanksgiving break is closer than you think! Plan ahead to ensure your student’s trip home is as inexpensive and convenient as possible.
Booking a flight
First, double check Thanksgiving break dates on the college’s academic calendar. Some schools have a full week off, others only a half week. Add extra days at your own peril — many professors schedule important papers and tests right before Thanksgiving break and can be unforgiving about missing class and exams because “we already booked the flight.”
Make sure to give your student enough time after their last class to travel to the airport, check a bag, and get through security (expect longer lines than usual due to holiday traffic), then add at least 30 minutes more than you think they’ll need.
To have the most choice in flights (ensuring the maximum amount of time with your student), start looking for flights early. Depending on the connection, August to middle of September will likely get you the best holiday travel deals. By then students have finalized their schedules and know whether they will have tests right before break. You may also want to book your student’s winter break flight at this time as well.
Once you’ve booked the flight, it’s time to figure out transportation to the airport. Don’t let your student leave this detail until the last minute! Check in with your student as early as the end of October to see if there’s a plan. If your student isn’t sure where to look, you can suggest:
- The campus shuttle (These must generally be reserved in advance, so your student must be on top of things to take advantage of this option. Having flight information ahead of time helps.)
- A ride with a friend
- Airport shuttle service
- Public transportation
You can also consider these suggestions for where to find airport transportation information.
The weeks before Thanksgiving break are a busy, stressful time for students. Help your student take care of the arrangements early to make sure the relaxing, and reconnecting, can start right away.
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