To Holiday Travel or Not to Holiday Travel?

The weather forecast for the next two days in the Northeast is not looking particularly sunny. The meteorologists are wringing their hands with a mixture of worry and delight. I thought I’d revisit last year’s musings on the topic of holiday travel. It’s not something I enjoy or encourage; whatever your plans, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. The Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend lacks a moniker. Let’s try ?#$% Sunday because everyone who visited Grandma’s house hits the highway at exactly the same moment causing monumental traffic jams.

I planned on getting an early start on a quick shopping trip Sunday, but my houseguest’s ETD was pushed back. No worries. I’m a stealth shopper – my list was short and the stores I needed to hit were concentrated in a limited radius. Was I ever wrong. The stretch of I-287 that connects to the Tappan Zee Bridge was a parking lot by 1:30. I crept along surrounded by compact cars filled with college students and their Costco booty and 7-passenger sport utes loaded with glum tweens plugged into iPods.

I’m grateful each year that I don’t need to travel for Thanksgiving. I’d rather cook turkey for 40 than deal with an airport and possible weather-related delays or sit for hours on the NJ Turnpike.  Heck. Until recently, I didn’t even have to cook. After a few years of raw apple pie and lumpy gravy I got the hang of it and now I really don’t mind. And it means I get to keep the bulk of the leftovers. Thankfully, my family is a bunch of low maintenance holiday revelers. Loungewear is the required attire and football reigns supreme. The highlight of the day is fighting over the turkey skin. All very traditional.

Thanksgiving Turkey food

We did travel one year and a simple maneuver made all the difference – we took an early morning flight on Wednesday and came home on Saturday. We still had our 4-day holiday weekend, but didn’t hit traffic going to the airport and our flight wasn’t full. At the time, I considered it a bit of a Christmas miracle for Thanksgiving and was very grateful, since I expected the sequel to “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” Will I tempt fate again? Maybe.

If my kids marry.

And have grandkids.

And live far away.

And won’t come to my house.

6 thoughts on “To Holiday Travel or Not to Holiday Travel?

  1. I’m on my own this year, so actually heading to Canada where things are open to do some sighting! I’m too poor to go anywhere farther (where my family is) or to shop!

  2. Yes I’m usually involved in a 11hr road trip “that would only take 5hrs without traffic” every year as we make our way to my brother’s place for Thanksgiving and I always think to myself that it’ll be so much easier to host and have them come over instead, however, we been gathering there for the past 15yrs that I don’t want to break tradition.

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