15 Cheap Getaways to Take Over Thanksgiving

6 minute read

Most people associate Thanksgiving travel with stressful journeys to the airport or long, tiresome car rides. And part of that may be related to the family component. By making your Thanksgiving travel more a vacation, however, you can make the long weekend more fun and stress-free.

Even though Thanksgiving is the beginning of the peak holiday travel season, you can still find cheap flights to some of your dream destinations during this time of year. Whether you’re looking for a cozy small town to celebrate the holiday or anisland getaway to forget about it entirely, there are plenty of options for Thanksgiving travel.

Keep reading for the 15 best places to go for Thanksgiving if you don’t want to stay home.

Athens, Greece

City of Athens and Acropolis by Evening
Athens, Greece - February 13, 2016: Aerial view of Athens at sunset with an illuminated Acropolis in the background. In foreground tourists and local people in Monastiraki Square. The clustered homes on the hill is known as Plaka.Getty Images

Athens, Greece is a popular tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. The city has plenty of must-see sights, but it can often get crowded and expensive.

Traveling to Athens in November, however, is a great way to see the city without all the hassle. And since many local shopkeepers and restaurant owners leave the city for the summer, you’ll get a much more authentic experience traveling when they’re back open in the fall.

New York, New York

People ice skating, New York City, New York State, USA
Getty Images

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a Thanksgiving tradition for people all over the country, but there’s nothing like witnessing the event in person.

Thanksgiving is the unofficial start to the holiday season in New York City, so there’s no better time to take in all the amazing decorations and the city’s unbeatable holiday spirit.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok cityscape
Bangkok cityscape. Bangkok night view in the business district. at twilightGetty Images

The weather is mild and sunny in Bangkok in November, making for the perfect late-fall getaway.

Plus, it is significantly cheaper to fly to Thailand around Thanksgiving than it is during the rest of the holiday season.

Montreal, Canada

Autumn Colors in Montreal City
A Mountain view of Montreal City, Canada in the fall. The sky is clear and it is a sunny day. A cluster of gray, multiple-sized buildings are visible in the center of the photo. Lush, fall foliage lines the front of the image, and a body of water is visible in the back of the photo.Getty Images

Thanksgiving is often a short break from school and work, so the more accessible a destination, the better.

Montreal, Canada, is within driving distance of several major US cities, although it feels as if you’ve been transported to Europe. Plus, if you’re not going to be indulging in traditional American Thanksgiving dishes, you can’t beat French Canadian comfort foods.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

San Miguel de Allende in Mexico
Getty Images

San Miguel de Allende is one of this year’s hottest travel destinations, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to visit.

November is the beginning of the region’s dry season, so there’s no better time to enjoy the sun and the city sights without having to worry about inclement weather.

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Paris, France

View on Eiffel tower at sunset
View on Eiffel tower at sunset, Paris, FranceGetty Images

The city is on every traveler’s bucket list, but summer crowds make Paris a bit less desirable. Instead, visit Paris for Thanksgiving so you can beat the crowds and enjoy the city like a local. Not to mention the foliage is at its peak, and temperatures are still mild.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Panoramic Aerial View of Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Panoramic Aerial View of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur, Mexico.Getty Images

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is a popular winter vacation destination. Going at Thanksgiving means you get a visit before crowds and prices soar.

Additionally, November in Cabo is also a great time for fishing and whale watching.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Waterfall old mill area Tennesee
this is the Old Mill area of Tennessee in Pigeon Forge. Showing a beautiful waterfall in the commercial district.Click Here to view my other Cityscapes and Architecture:Getty Images

Many people who travel around Thanksgiving are looking to escape the holiday altogether. If you’re looking to celebrate a festive Thanksgiving away from home, however, then Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the perfect spot.

From the holiday lights of Winterfest to the annual Thanksgiving night fireworks at the Titanic Museum, there are plenty of activities to get you into the holiday spirit.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Locals Playing Soccer at Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - December 19, 2015: Silhouette of locals playing ball at sunset in Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Getty Images

November is springtime in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so it is an ideal vacation destination for travelers looking to avoid cold weather at all costs. By traveling for Thanksgiving, you can get your warm weather fix while avoiding Rio’s usual summer crowds.

Read more: 25 reasons why Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix Arizona downtown skyline skyscrapers, palm trees in tropical sunset
Downtown skyscrapers with palm trees and greenery in Phoenix, Arizona during sunset.Getty Images

Phoenix, Arizona, is at its best in the late fall season since temperatures are far more manageable than in the summer months.

Travel to the southwestern city for hiking, golf, and other outdoor activities that might be off limits if it’s already cold back home.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik cityscape in Iceland
Getty Images

Reykjavik, Iceland, is a popular stopover destination for travelers flying from the US to Europe. But with cheap flights and plenty of sights to see, Reykjavik is an exciting city all on its own.

Orlando, Florida


Universal Studios Orlando Theme Park
Orlando, Florida, United States - July 02, 2011. Universal Studios globe sign at entrance.Getty Images

Temperatures in Orlando, Florida, remain in the high 70s and low 80s in November, so it’s the perfect warm weather escape for Thanksgiving.

You can even start the holiday season a bit early by visiting Walt Disney World to view the park’s legendary holiday decorations.

Read more: INSIDER Travel is on Facebook

Palm Springs, California

Forever Marilyn A Palm Springs Icon And Tourist Attraction
"Palm Springs,United States- November 18,2012: Public Square downtown Palm Springs California with Marilyn Monroe Sculpture and early model Thunderbird convertibles. Brilliant blue Palm Springs sky in the background. All from the same era. Marilyn is the most popular tourist attraction in Palm Springs. Marilyn Monroe ws discovered in Palm Springs."Getty Images


Palm Springs, California is just a short drive from Los Angeles although it feels worlds away. The peaceful desert town offers a wide array of hotels, resorts, and rental homes, so you can easily find the perfect venue for your vacation.

Whether or not you’re looking for a traditional holiday feast, there are plenty of restaurants in Palm Springs that serve fresh new takes on the classic Thanksgiving dinner.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona - Park Guell, Spain
Barcelona - Park Guell, SpainGetty Images

You may not want to take a dip in the ocean in Barcelona in November, but it’s still a perfectly good time to visit the often tourist-packed city.

Although it may be colder around Thanksgiving, crowds and prices are down, making it much easier to enjoy the city’s top sights like Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia.

Park City, Utah

Long exposure of Main St. in Park City, Utah.
Long exposure of cars driving down Main St. in Park City, Utah.Getty Images

If you’re ready to start the winter season a little early, head to Park City, Utah. The Park City Mountain Resort opens to skiers and snowboarders in mid-November, so there’s no better time to start enjoying the slopes. There are also plenty of other winter activities in the area like snow tubing, an alpine coaster, and even a zipline, so you can take in all of Utah’s natural beauty.

This article originally appeared on INSIDER

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