Don't leave the house without them.

Jorie Nicole McDonald

The thought of spending Thanksgiving away from home can be somewhat overwhelming, but it’s actually an excellent time of year to travel. The kids are out of school and the added pressure of the chaotic holiday season makes the end of November prime vacation-taking time. However, even with an exciting destination in mind, we Southerners would never skip the annual feast that comes with celebrating Thanksgiving. Hearty green bean casserole, rich cornbread dressing, creamy mashed potatoes, and of course, fresh baked turkey warm our hearts and fill our bellies every year. Celebrating Thanksgiving below the Mason-Dixon is a much-anticipated event, and leaving it behind for a fall vacation may seem impossibly hard, but have no fear. You can still commemorate Thanksgiving the proper Southern way as you travel away from home. Whether you’re heading to the white, sandy beaches of Florida or the scenic mountains of Tennessee, here are three of the most essential Thanksgiving tools to add to your packing list.

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are arguably the most underrated tools in the kitchen; you may not fully appreciate their value until they go missing and you’re forced to free hand the correct amount of ingredients. It’s a stressful endeavor to say the least! For Thanksgiving cooking and baking, proper measuring is vital for the best results. Whether you’re determining how much cinnamon goes in the pumpkin pie, brown sugar in the sweet potato casserole, lemon zest in the turkey breast, or thyme in the cornbread dressing, be sure to grab those measuring spoons before you leave the house.

Meat Thermometer

What’s one of the worst possible incidents that could occur on Thanksgiving Day? Ruining the turkey, of course. Because most families only bake a turkey once or twice a year, there aren’t many chances to practice. It’s an important task, and there’s a lot to keep in mind. You’ll need a handy dandy meat thermometer to guarantee the main dish is prepared to perfection and safe to eat. While the bird may look deliciously crisp and scrumptiously golden, using a meat thermometer is one foolproof method to check for cooking completion. Don’t forget to pack the useful tool.

Wine Opener

While it may not be the most obvious kitchen tool, going without a wine opener on Thanksgiving could be disastrous. The last thing you want to do on the joyous holiday is rummage around for a hammer and nails in a failed attempt to open a beloved bottle of wine. Save yourself the trouble, and bring along a wine opener on your Thanksgiving vacation. After all, what sounds nicer than a glass of Pinot Noir paired with your favorite holiday dish? Nothing.