Start Your Thanksgiving Travel (And Mental) Prep Now


Contributed by LearnVest


Thanksgiving is still a while away, but tomorrow is the LearnVest deadline for settling on your holiday travel plans (check out the LearnVest Fall To-Dos). In addition to buying plane tickets, now is the time to make sometimes difficult holiday decisions. Will you travel halfway across the country to spend the holiday with your parents, or will you stay local with your significant other’s family? Who will pay for your holiday tickets: You? Your partner, even if he has to travel to see your family?

Here’s how to talk about these sticky questions and get your holiday plan in order:

1. Discuss Which Holidays Your Family Prizes Most.

Farnoosh Torabi, our money etiquette expert, says: “Think a month down the road. Which holiday does your family cherish the most: Thanksgiving? Christmas? Hanukkah?” Whether you’re splitting time with your partner’s family or figuring out how to spend money on your own plane tickets, don’t be afraid to ask your folks outright. Steer the conversation in the right direction by emphasizing how much you want to see them. Say: “I want to include you as I sort out [the expense of plane tickets, taking time off of work, whose family gets us for which holidays]. Although I’m sad I can’t travel twice, do you feel more strongly about having me home for Thanksgiving or for Christmas?” Your family should appreciate that you’re including them in the decision and that you’re thinking far ahead.

2. Talk About Who Will Pay.

If you’re traveling with a significant other and you two don’t share expenses, Farnoosh recommends booking the flight together but paying separately. It puts inordinate strain and guilt on one person if he has to pay for both plane tickets simply because his family lives farther. It’s not his fault that his folks are from Montana! Some parents will offer to pay for their kids’ plane tickets since it spares them the expense and hassle of traveling, but don’t ask unless your parents offer. If they do, make sure to consider all strings attached before accepting their generous proposition.

To read more tips, go to LearnVest!

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