Ready to travel

For many Americans, Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. And what a great start it makes with turkey, stuffing, and several helpings of pumpkin pie shared with friends and family. If your loved ones live far away, you could be joining the 50 million or so Americans who travel for November’s big feast.

Travelling is always a little tricky, and it only gets more challenging when you drag your kids along for the ride (or flight)! Before you leave for your trip, you’ll want to keep these three things in mind. They can help you prepare yourself for travelling with kids.

How will you get there?

Perhaps the most important question is the one that asks how you intend to get to your destination. Last year, nearly 90 percent of Thanksgiving pilgrims travelled by car — an uptick of 3.2 percent from 2016. Unfortunately for gearheads, gas is higher now than it has been in the past, making driving a little more expensive than it used to be.

You’re also at the mercy of road and weather conditions, which — in November — could involve rain, sleet, or snow depending on your location. If you plan on driving, make sure you bring your car in for a tune-up before you leave. This can help make sure your vehicle is running at its most efficient, so you can arrive safely at your destination.

Another 28.5 million people took to the skies last year to get to their Thanksgiving dinners, a stat that also saw an increase of 3 percent from 2016. Flying affords you some freedom since you won’t be stuck behind the wheel for hours while navigating the roads to Uncle Tony’s, but it has its downsides. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for air travel, so it can be a chaotic experience for you and your family. Tickets for your entire family is also a lot more expensive than the cost of filling up your gas tank.

How will you pay for this?

Though your heart may be set on flying, your bank account may have other ideas. Before you make promises to attend any Thanksgiving event, you need to figure out what your family can afford — remembering that Christmas is only a month away.

A budget can help you figure out what you can afford naturally, as it will compare your typical expenses to your income to show you what’s leftover. You can also use a budget to target bad spending habits that may lower what expendable cash you have month-to-month.

If you aren’t sure how you’re spending your money poorly, a company like MoneyKey can help you. As an online lender of payday loans, they want to equip their customers with the best savings tips to manage their money. One post includes ways you can reduce what you spend on your utilities to save more. If this sounds like something you can do, click here to learn more about energy-saving tips. This guide offers a simple start to reducing your bills and increasing your savings.

How will your kids react?

Once a plan comes together, your next thought should go to your kids. Now that the logistics are organized, you have to consider the practicalities of travelling with children. While grumpy teenagers usually know how to occupy themselves with their phones, smaller children need help staving off boredom. Whether travelling by road or air, you can help keep them occupied by packing portable board games, toys, and books for them to use on the trip. You can check in with these driving games the whole family can play in the car.

Taking the time now to pack their bags can save you a lot of grief later. It’s just like saving. Being proactive is a simple way to pack your account with extra bills this holiday season, so give yourself a head start to the festivities and plan in advance. These tips can help make your Thanksgiving travel plans go as smoothly as the mashed potatoes waiting for you at the table.