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What are you doing this Thanksgiving?

Every year it’s the same old thing: driving to parents, in-laws or other relatives houses for the same old turkey dinner, the retelling of the same old stories, the asking of the same old questions. Why not do something different this year? Something out of the ordinary? Something to shake things up? Travelling is a great way to “spice things up” and get out of the same old boring routine. Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of a long weekend and, if you do it right, can be cost-effective and hassle-free. Here are some great destination ideas as well as some travel tips to make sure you have a Thanksgiving experience that is anything but ordinary.

First, narrow down your choices by considering things like weather, school stress for children, celebrations and American History. For example, if you live in a chilly climate, a tropical vacation might be for you or if you live in a desert or temperate climate (such as San Diego) you may want to visit a cooler “holiday” destination. Also, remember that just because your kids are allowed a long weekend does not mean that they are free from homework, studying and projects. Don’t plan a long or exhausting trip if your student is just going to be more stressed out upon your return. Cities with special Thanksgiving celebrations are also a good option, such as New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade or pick a spot rich in American history such as a road trip through the 13 colonies or a trip to your favorite President’s hometown.

Next, research your potential choices. Aruba is a great tropical destination, especially because Thanksgiving weekend falls right before this Caribbean island’s peak season, so flights are fairly inexpensive and hotels are easier to book. A cruise is also a good option; your vacation itinerary and menu are already planned for you, cruises go almost anywhere in the world and range anywhere from 3-12 days for as short or long a vacation as you desire.

Last, follow a couple simple travel tips and your vacation will be virtually hassle free. If possible, don’t travel on Wednesday or Sunday; not only are these the busiest travel days for the holiday, but they are also the most expensive. If your schedule permits, aim for Tuesday-Tuesday or even Thursday-Tuesday, especially if you’re flying. Keep in mind that the average domestic ticket price is $378 over Thanksgiving. A few other quick tips to minimize stress include reserving your seat online, shipping gifts or food to your end destination and simply planning ahead to consolidate luggage.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, just remember the holidays are all about spending time with those you love and care about and being thankful for all the wonderful and magical things in your life. Be safe this season and Happy Thanksgiving!

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