Now that travel has opened up things are expected to be busier than ever during the holidays. Ditch the stress with these top Thanksgiving travel tips and transform your holiday into one you’ll never forget!
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Visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving can be both exciting and stressful at times. It’s always better to arrive as prepared as possible. Use these Thanksgiving travel tips to ensure your journey runs as smoothly as possible.
You are going to learn the best Thanksgiving travel days, Thanksgiving travel deals, Thanksgiving packing list, and things to do on Thanksgiving.
After learning these travel tips you can sit back, relax and have the best Thanksgiving possible.
This post is all about the top-rated Thanksgiving travel tips.
Best Thanksgiving travel tips:
Deciding where to go:
Truly, you can’t go wrong with your choice here. The most important part is who you choose to spend your time with. Reflect on whether or not you have the itch to travel or if you’d rather stay at home. I have had many Thanksgivings with friends, family, and even a few by myself. Listen to what you want, how your energy truly feels, and if you have the finances to go somewhere new.
If you decide to travel check in with what you’re craving weather-wise. It can be just as magical spending Thanksgiving in a fall setting as it is to be in the sun.
For my cold weather friends, I suggest finding an Airbnb with a hot tub in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, wearing your best Thanksgiving costume for a turkey trot in Big Bear, California, or heading to the mountains and cozying up by a fire in the Colorado mountains.
For those of you that want to escape the cold, there are so many places to ditch the hot cocoa and dig your toes into the sand instead. Have a quiet Thanksgiving on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii, play in paradise at an all-inclusive resort in Aruba, or spend some time in So-cal for the perfect in-between weather.
Purchasing your flight:
Easy is the name of the game here. Again, traveling during Thanksgiving is already hard so why not make buying your flight a breeze. My top three Thanksgiving travel tips in this department are to fly on the days when the rest of the world isn’t flying, look up travel deals and purchase your ticket ahead of time.
The Monday or Tuesday before turkey day is the best Thanksgiving travel day to head out. Many are still at work these days and they will be less crowded. Avoid the day before Thanksgiving if possible! Remember, everyone travels this day and it can make your trip start off on a stressful note.
Black Friday is usually another great day to fly. While the world around you is sleeping off their food coma from the day before or searching for the best shopping deals it leaves the airports a little less packed. Traveling home the Saturday after is considered the worst day. Traveling home If you can wait an extra day or two heading home the following week on Monday or Tuesday is also considered some of the best days to travel around Thanksgiving.
If you arent super savvy about finding flight deals there are a few ways you could go about this. I love both the app Hopper and Skyscanner. This is an easy way to type in a multitude of destinations and check out the price for that time and place. This way I can see if it is inside my budget and what the flights look like around certain days. I have purchased many flights directly through the app as the process is pretty streamlined, just be careful to avoid long layovers and extra add-on charges they might try to get you signed up for as you pay.
I also adore Booking.com as it has some of the best deals. In the past, I have simply googled for travel deals and used sketchy sites to purchase travel deals that never worked out in the end. Booking.com is a site that is upfront about pricing, easy to use, and endless in what it has to offer.
It’s been said that the best time to purchase a domestic flight is 64 days before departure. This totally depends on where you travel and I recommend keeping your eye out for a flight 1-3 months before. You can also receive alerts on apps like Hopper about whether or not it is a good time to book, they will even recommend you to wait for a better deal if they think one will happen in a week or two.
What to pack:
A Thanksgiving packing list oftentimes requires planning for a bit colder weather and therefore requires heavier clothing like coats, sweaters, boots, and jackets. I do my best to pack light and love those trips where I can get away with just a carry on but sometimes Winter travel just doesn’t allow for it. Plan to pay a little extra for a checked bag so that you have everything you need during your stay. Google the weather for the location you will be in ahead of time and pack accordingly.
Assuming you have chosen a colder destination this year I would pack two different types of jackets. If you want to dress for both cute and comfort these are the top-rated choices this year when needing to stay warm.
Bring lots of cozies to snuggle up in at night including extra socks, sweatsuits (these are perfect for travel, chilling, and low key outings), a dressier outfit for the day of, and outerwear to keep your head, hands, and neck warm.
What to do:
There are some pretty obvious options for what to do on Thanksgiving, like watching football, eating yourself into a coma, and napping but I will share a few extra options in case you want to switch it up this year.
First, move your body! I know this can be a pretty lazy day for many Americans, but spending time connecting with your body before all the chaos can totally change the vibe. Try doing a hot yoga class, riding your bike, or hiking in a new area. This is one new tradition you won’t regret starting this year if you haven’t already.
Second, try to be outdoors as much as possible. This day is a great time to reconnect to nature and give yourself time to breathe in the fresh air. Try eating outside if weather permits, cook s’mores over a fire at night or play an outdoor game with the fam. There are so many ways to get a few extra minutes outside and both you and the ones around you will appreciate it!
Last, change the vibe by turning the television off for a bit and reconnecting with those around you. Finding new ways to connect this year can totally transform the energy. Get creative with some new ways of doing things, try a new cocktail recipe together, roam the city and check out the art, or donate your time to someone in need.
As awareness on the planet shifts so can the way we spend our time. It’s always beneficial to understand the history of a holiday and where traditions truly come from. This is a great year to keep some of the old traditions alive but also to throw out what didn’t work as we allow ourselves to expand.
What to bring:
Thanksgiving is a great time for friends and family, as well as meeting new people. Unless you are the one hosting the event plan to bring something to share. Double-check what the theme of the event is beforehand! Living in LA has taught me to prepare for paleo and vegan-themed Thanksgiving among many others. If you know how to cook bring a unique dish that will pair well with the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Otherwise, grab some store-bought Thanksgiving-themed cookies and a nice bottle of Cab and call it a day!