SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Whether you're flying, driving, or cooking the bird, you face a variety of Thanksgiving challenges.
Let's start at the airport.
"26.8 million passengers will travel through TSA checkpoints. That's about a 4 percent increase from last year," said Patricia Cogswell, deputy administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.
On Wednesday, the TSA encouraged travelers to pack smart: Baked goods for Thanksgiving can be carried on, but liquids and jams must go into checked luggage.
There is still time for passengers to enroll in the TSA pre-check program to skip lines altogether.
"I am an expert at timing, getting to the airport and getting through. It's not international travel so it's not too bad," said passenger Kiki Akingbade.
If you're planning to drive instead, new data from Google maps shows the worst time to hit the road is between 3 and 4 p.m the day before Thanksgiving.
After the holiday, the busiest times to head home will be Friday and Sunday afternoons.
Much of Thanksgiving centers on food. You can avoid the crowds at food stores if you reserve your turkey and pies in advance.
"Oh yes, definitely. Get your reservations," said Victor Kong from Star Market in Salinas. "Usually about 3,000 turkeys are reserved."
Canned goods can be purchased in advance, but wait to buy fresh items like produce.
"You only have a 4-5 day shelf life," explained Kong.
Google says on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest time at the bakery is lunchtime, and in the evening at the liquor store.
And looking ahead to Black Friday. It hits its peak at 1 pm Friday.