How Mercury Retrograde Winter 2018 Will Affect Thanksgiving Travel, So You Can Be Ready

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'Tis the season to be... purchasing overly-expensive plane tickets or sitting in crazy post-work traffic in an attempt to make it to your hometown pad in time for a family "dinner" that weirdly takes place at 2 p.m.? That's right: Thanksgiving is here. But guess what else is here? I'll just kindly rip this Band-aid off: Another 2018 Mercury retrograde. Don't act too surprised, cause 2018 did NOT come to play (as you're aware if you've, you know, seen/read/done anything in the past 10 and a half months). Mercury rules over travel (in addition to other things, like the transfer of information and how we communicate), so it's with almost comically cruel timing that the planet will be retrograde during one of the busiest travel days of the year. If you're one of the lucky people who isn't making a mad dash to your hometown or some other plane- or road-trip-bound location after work during Thanksgiving week, consider yourself lucky. But if you're one of the millions who are, it's time to enlighten yourself about exactly how Mercury retrograde will affect Thanksgiving travel, because it's going to affect all sun signs. Maybe just think of this final Rx as the cherry on top of your 2018 sundae?

So yes, the maniacal, seemingly never-ending train of 2018 retrogrades officially rages on, as Mercury begins retrograding one more time this year on Nov. 16 in the fiery sign of Sagittarius. For the weeks following, through Dec. 6, it will appear to move backward in space and will travel back into Scorpio's territory — subsequently turning the travel, tech, and communication sects of our life into ashes, as it does — but of course, teaching us some lessons along the way.

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One of the standard tenets of Mercury retrograde is: Avoid. Travel. That along with postponing contracts, triple-checking for typos on everything you post, and avoiding making any long-term decisions. But for many people, especially during the holidays, not traveling isn't a reasonable option, so the next best thing is to just be prepared for the retrograde's effects. "Mercury retrograde brings communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays and lost items," shared Astrology King on its site. A bit of a perfect storm, yes, but c'est la vie.

Retrogrades can actually be a really dope time to get introspective, take a step back to review what you've been up to, work on plans for the future (without attempting to write anything in stone), and reflect upon where you're headed. Unfortunately, the nonstop hustle n' bustle of the holidaze isn't the most conducive to that sort of inward journeying, so we'll all just have to do our best when it comes to navigating the rough, retrograde-infused waters of this winter Mercury transit.

Here are some friendly neighborhood tips and warnings for all zodiac signs to help you prepare for the potentially hectic drama of your inevitable Thanksgiving travel plans during Mercury retrograde. Say it with me: WE GOT THIS!

First Thing's First: Stay Posi!

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If you're stressin', just remember: We'll make this retrograde work. We always do! Retrogrades have a bad rep, but they also offer you chance to take a pause and reflect upon everything on your current T̶h̶a̶n̶k̶s̶g̶i̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ spiritual plate. Bustle spoke with astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, who shares, "Channel the power of gratitude this Mercury Rx season by being present with where you're at." There's no secret trap door out of Mercury retrograde's influence, so it's better to embrace the hand you're dealt — even if that hand happens to include a six-hour wait time before getting on the next flight. Staying present and practicing gratitude will help keep you semi-sane no matter what the sitch.

Prepare Yourself For Delays

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Speaking of six-hour wait times, it'll serve you to get yourself in a chill space when it comes to handling potential travel snags. "If you have to travel for the holidays you may have to deal with snafus, but look for things to be interested in on your journey. That way it won't matter as much if you end up taking the long way there," shares Lanyadoo with Bustle. Keeping your vibe high (and arming yourself with all your favorite books and podcasts!) will help you sail through any potential mishaps with relative ease during the holiday madness. Enjoy the scenery, settle in for a podcast binge, maybe slap on a face mask in public — whatever it takes to pass the time in a positive way.

Triple Check Your Travel Itinerary

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Ever shown up for a flight at the wrong airport? I have, and it's not fun (I swear though, we could have sworn we booked for Oakland and not SFO...). Anyway, learn from my youthful mistakes and obsessively check your itinerary, cause this is not the time to be careless with that sort of thing. Bustle spoke with astrologer Lisa Stardust, who shares, “Mercury retrograde may cause travel stresses such as delayed and overbooked flights." With this Rx potentially throwing wrenches in your plans that are beyond your control, make sure that you're diligently dotting the I's and crossing the T's of whatever is in your control.

Drive On The Defensive

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If you're doing some out of town driving Thanksgiving week, take your car in to get your tires puffed up, make sure your oil has been changed recently, and double-check that things are in working order. Better to be safe! "[T]ry to drive carefully too! Mercury retrograde can cause irritations, frustrations. and accidents to occur," advises Stardust to Bustle, "Travel with care and caution." Once you're on the road, stay focused and drive defensively — it's a crazy, retrograde-influenced world out there. If you're looking to crystal healing to aid you in your journey, my favorite crystal for road trips is smoky quartz, since it's grounding and helps cleanse out negative energy.

Leave Way Earlier Than Necessary

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My usual protocol is to leave the house a minimum of five minutes after I should have (air sign problems?), so take after literally anyone but me and leave yourself extra time to get around. Like, seriously, plan to leave with extra time, and then leave even earlier than that time. It's classic Mercury retrograde sh*t to hit unexpected snags that make you late. That's part of the game. And in some cases it's just an annoying delay, but in other cases — like if you're trying to catch a flight, for example — it could be a holiday mini-disaster. Leave yourself plenty of room for error so you can lower the chances of a missed flight (or even a missed Thanksgiving dinner).

Keep Your Devices Charged

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This may seem like a no-brainer, but I'm gonna say it anyway, because the planets work in mysterious ways and it would be very Mercury retrograde of you to realize that you're on 1% before you even reach the airport. Keep your batteries full, your charger handy, and you know what? Play it old school and keep a printed copy of your travel itinerary and anyone's phone number you might need as far as rides or emergencies go. Tech breakdowns do happen, and Mercury Rx only ups the potential for them. Like that one time earlier this year when my phone screen literally went black as I was pulling up directions to get to a meeting in another city that I was already late for? Yeah, I blamed the retrograde for that.

Pack Necessities In Your Carry-On Bag

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Lost and misplaced items are yet another thing we have to worry about with the upcoming Mercury Rx, so be conscious of that while traveling. If you're taking a plane, put all your precious valuables and must-haves in your carry on. You know, your Glossier stuff, basically. TBH just thinking about lost luggage makes me feel the beginnings of a panic attack, but if you know that at least you won't be stranded without the absolute essentials on the chance your checked bag ends up misplaced, you'll be able to travel with more ease.

Try To ~Keep Your Chill~

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Communication in general will already be retrograde-drunk by the time Thanksgiving week hits, but with the moon square Mercury, the chances of falling into arguments and heated debates goes up. Exactly what family Thanksgiving is all about, right? Juuust kidding. "You may feel very opinionated on a particular subject and care little what others think," wrote Astrology King. "However, this is not a good time to be preaching to others and telling how they should think or act." Avoid major drama by thinking before you speak, especially when it comes to touchy topics or even a text message that may have been misconstrued. It's always important to speak your truth, just take care to not super lose your sh*t over something, if possible, since the potential for miscommunications and disagreements is at a high. Grab your black tourmaline crystal to support you in transmuting any and all negative vibes, and then chill.