More Americans travel over Thanksgiving than any other holiday. This year, for the first time in many years, my family will join that throng as we head south to visit family and friends for the holidays.

Sure, all of that travel is great for family bonding, but it can be harrowing for parents and downright detrimental to the environment. Here’s how to keep it green, sane, and safe as you travel to see loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Take the train: Traveling by train creates less environmental pollution than traveling by car or by plane. And just think … you won’t have to strap the kids into a car seat, worry about traffic, or have to navigate your little ones through airline security. Depending on where you're headed, it may not be any faster than traveling by car, but it is easier for little kids to ride by train. They can get up and stretch their legs or go to the bathroom whenever they need to, and if they drop their sippy cup, you won't have to dart in and out of traffic with one hand while scrambling under the back seat to retrieve it.

Tune it up: If you are planning to drive, make sure your car is in tip-top condition so that you can maximize gas mileage (and make fewer painful trips to the pump). Make sure your tires are properly inflated to improve your fuel efficiency by another 3 percent.

Offset it: No matter how you decide to travel, offset your carbon emissions with companies like Green-e. Carbon offset companies invest in projects that absorb or prevent the release of carbon dioxide.

If you are traveling with kids, be sure to check out this post of holiday travel tips for parents for more tips to make your Thanksgiving travel easier.

See also:

Thanksgiving crafts

Thanksgiving recipes

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving poems

Green your Thanksgiving travel
Visiting friends and family this Thanksgiving? Here's how to green your holiday travel.