Thanksgiving travel got you down? Tips to avoid the hustle and bustle

by Beacon Staff • November 15, 2006

A week from now, there will be excessive eating and relaxing with family and friends. Classes and homework shall remain far from our thoughts.

Before reaching that stress-free state of gluttony, however, there are still the hassles of travel and planning for going home.,It's mid-November and for college students, the countdown to Thanksgiving break is almost over.

A week from now, there will be excessive eating and relaxing with family and friends. Classes and homework shall remain far from our thoughts.

Before reaching that stress-free state of gluttony, however, there are still the hassles of travel and planning for going home.

There's finishing up the last midterm papers, packing bags, booking tickets and waiting in seemingly endless lines and traffic.

So how can one hold on to sanity and get home in one piece?

Jessica Labrencis of SmarterTravel.com acknowledges the many stresses that usually accompany you while traveling. She recommends booking tickets as far in advance as possible and arriving at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

"It's preferable to pad the travel day with extra time rather than racing frantically to the gate five minutes before departure," Labrencis writes on the Web site.

If you're looking to save money on your tickets, she suggests tools such as Expedia.com's Fare Compare Calculator, which will help you determine the cheapest days to fly home or return to school. Other Web sites have similar comparison functions.

And although turkey and stuffing may dominate current plans, it's not too early to start planning trips home for Christmas, Hanukkah or other winter-break festivities either.

"It doesn't pay to get a last-minute flight," says SmarterTravel's executive editor Anne Bana.

For some, buying a plane ticket in advance would be too pricey for such a short holiday.

Paulina Jaeger, a freshman writing, literature and publishing major, hails from Oregon and thought flying cross-country for such a short period of time was too expensive.

Instead, Jaeger is tagging along with a friend and fellow Emerson student as he visits his family in Rhode Island.

"I didn't really have any plans, and it didn't seem too appealing to stay here," she said. "Plus, it makes Christmas better to save the visit."

Samuel Citron, a freshman marketing communication major, did exactly what Labrencis and other SmarterTravel writers suggest. "I booked my tickets over the summer," said Citron, who is flying back to Los Angeles for the break and is most looking forward to seeing his friends back home.

For senior Leyla Hamedi, turkey is more than just what's on the menu for Thanksgiving.

The writing, literature and publishing and TV/video double major will spend a considerable amount of her Thanksgiving break on a plane headed to Istanbul, where she lived with her family before making the trek to Boston for college.

"This is my first time going home for Thanksgiving," Hamedi said. "Usually, I don't go home for such a short amount of time, but the tickets were pretty much free since I fly back and forth a lot."

Her previous Thanksgiving breaks have been spent in Kansas, where she sat down to dinner with a friend and her family. Though it may be a long trip, she believes it's all worth it.

"I'm getting kind of sick of Boston," she said. "As much as I like it here, it's just not quite home."

And while many students will overindulge in poultry and pie next week, she won't be celebrating in quite the same way.

There will be no turkey in Turkey for Hamedi.

"My family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving at all," she said.

On-campus students not planning to leave Emerson behind for a few days can take advantage of the limited vacation housing in the Little Building for a fee of $48.

Applications, which can be picked up from the Office of Housing and Residence Life or downloaded from OHRL's Web site, are due by the end of today.

On-campus students should make sure to turn off all lights, unplug all electrical equipment and sign out at the front desk.

Make sure to follow proper procedure on this one-OHRL charges a minimum $50 fine to anyone who doesn't.