Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Travel Safety Tips for Your Thanksgiving Holiday

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only two days away! More than 55 million travelers are making plans to kick off the holiday season, with a trip of 50 miles or more away from home. From the airports to the roads, follow these simple travel tips to ensure your holiday is a safe and happy one.


This Thanksgiving is projected to mark the second highest travel week in over a decade. And if you’ve been keeping an eye on the news today, you’re likely aware that more than 500 flights have been canceled or delayed within, into, or out of the United States as a result of harsh winter storms.

*If you’re taking the skies to see loved ones for the four-day weekend, make sure to routinely check with your airline for updated travel information.

John Wayne Airport → Going through security is usually a breeze and very quick, but with traffic expected to be higher than normal from Friday, November 22nd through Monday, December 2nd, passengers are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes to two hours before scheduled departure times for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Los Angeles International Airport → More than 2 million people are expected to pass through LAX during the Thanksgiving travel period, which is why officials are urging travelers to factor in additional time for traffic congestion and plan to arrive early for their flights.


Heading to your Turkey Day destination by train? While it might seem easier than traveling by plane or car, Amtrak is expecting more than last year’s record 846,000 passengers. In preparation for the surge of holiday travelers, the Pacific Surfliner route, which travels between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, will be fitted with extra equipment and additional capacity.

Amtrak urges Thanksgiving travelers to arrive 45 minutes early, to clearly label their luggage, and to pre-purchase tickets. Find additional details from Amtrak HERE.


Traveling by car in Orange County is already stressful enough as it is on a regular ol’ day. Swap that for one of the biggest holidays of the year plus a historic storm slated to bring heavy rain, snow, and winds to Southern California this week and, well, it goes without saying that some major delays are in store.

Wednesday, November 27th is expected to be the worst travel period nationally, with car trips expected to take as much as four times longer than normal throughout Los Angeles and the majority of Southern California. If you’re debating on what time you should hit the road, the LA Times states that the following are peak periods to avoid:

  • 10 East from Santa Monica to the 5 Freeway interchange –– 6 p.m. (with a delay five times the norm)
  • 405 South from Roscoe Boulevard to the 110 Freeway –– 5:30 p.m.
  • 405 North from the 110 to Roscoe Boulevard –– 5:45 p.m
  • 10 East from State Street to West Covina –– 5:15 p.m.
  • 101 West from 170 Freeway to CA-23 –– 6:30 p.m.


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