10 Essential Thanksgiving Survival Tips

Thanksgiving survival tips

Stress-free holiday strategies

Cooking. Traveling. Dealing with a houseful of relatives. Even if you absolutely love Thanksgiving, the holidays always bring a certain amount of stress. But we’ve got you! Our Thanksgiving survival tips will help you get through the holidays with your smile, sanity, and inner peace intact.

Before you dig into your turkey, check out our 10 favorite ways to stay unruffled and unbothered over Thanksgiving.

  • Travel smart

    As always, Thanksgiving is pretty much “the” travel holiday. Seriously: over 3 million seats on over 22,000 flights… and that’s just for the Sunday after Thanksgiving!

    So although there are tons of Thanksgiving survival tips focused exclusively on travel, we’ll share our 3 favorites.

    – Fly early, before flight delays start building up.
    – Get to the airport early. Lines to check in and at security will be long.
    – Bring light snacks and an empty, refillable water bottle, so you can avoid overpriced airport food and drinks.

  • Keep cooking simple

    Whether you’re hosting or contributing a dish, you really don’t have to go overboard to impress your guests! Most people are happy with turkey, a handful of side dishes, and a delish dessert.

    So go ahead, buy that boxed stuffing (it’s everyone’s favorite, anyway!). Pour your energy into your crowd-pleasing mac and cheese, and pick up a couple of pies from a local bakery.

    Spend your time with your loved ones, not in the kitchen.

  • Eat breakfast

    We know, we know, Thanksgiving is allllll about dinner. So why are we suggesting you eat breakfast?

    Because hangry people aren’t happy people!

    And while you might think saving up those calories for Thanksgiving dinner is a good idea, the reality is that by the time dinner rolls around you’ll be snapping at relatives… And their “well-meaning” questions about your personal life.

    So go ahead! Enjoy a breakfast loaded with plenty of protein and fruit/veggies to keep your belly satisfied, your blood sugar steady, and your mood positive.

  • Move your body

    Between the tempting meals and the extra time spent socializing, your body will be begging you for exercise.

    And in the eternal words of Elle Woods (“Legally Blonde”), “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

    So over your Thanksgiving holiday, make sure you participate in some form of exercise. And it doesn’t have to be a major gym sesh. Even a brisk walk around the block will do wonders for your mood—and your waistline!

    P.S.: Bonus points if you take it outdoors!

  • Keep your kids engaged

    Thanksgiving survival tips are twice as important when you have little ones!

    Even the quietest of kids will have trouble sitting around the table for hours of conversation. Keep them interested by introducing topics of conversation that are relevant to them, too. (Even if that means talking about Minecraft, again!)

    Spending the day with relatives? If you’re not at home, make sure you bring toys, coloring books, etc. to keep your kids happy and entertained while waiting for dinner.

    Pro Tip: Make sure your kids get plenty of active playtime before sitting down for dinner, to burn off some of their holiday excitement!

  • Combine social groups

    If you’re going “home” for Thanksgiving, everyone from distant relatives to your high school buddies is going to be eager to spend time with you.

    The result? An endless list of invitations.

    This year, Instead of running from event to event, pick a night and a local spot, and let everyone who wants to see you know where you’ll be. You can see all of your favorite hometown peeps, without the exhaustion of running around.

  • Avoid polarizing topics

    Depending on your family dynamics, some topics are verbal landmines in the making. Remember, you don’t have to participate in every argument or debate. You’re allowed to excuse yourself and walk away from any discussion that makes you uncomfortable.

    It’s okay to say that you don’t want to engage in a conversation… as long as you do it politely.

    A firm, yet gracious, “Great question! I’ll take some time to think of a reply. In the meantime, I’m getting a slice of pie, want to join me?” can work wonders.

  • Schedule downtime

    November is just the beginning of the annual flurry of holiday activities. If you want to make it through the next month or so with your sanity intact, pace yourself.

    Instead of being on the go-go-go over Thanksgiving, take some time off for self-care. Read, journal, go for a walk, or enjoy a Hallmark movie marathon.

    When you’re ready to rejoin your family and friends, you’ll be feeling refreshed and recharged!

  • Ship your stuff

    Remember our warnings about holiday travel?

    Here’s one big way you can make your travels as smooth as can be: ship your luggage to your final destination with LugLess.

    For less than the price of the average checked bag, you can skip the long lines to check in at the airport and walk right by baggage claim. It’s the perfect antidote to baggage stress!

  • Just… breathe

    No matter how many Thanksgiving survival tips we share, things can still go awry.

    When that happens, take a deep breath, smile at your family, and count your blessings.

    And have more pie. Always have more pie.

Ready to kick off the holiday season? Our Thanksgiving survival tips will help you breeze through Turkey Day with calm and ease.