As far as the airlines are concerned, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Rates for particularly popular itineraries are already on the rise. And even if price isn’t an issue, booking your preferred trip will become increasingly difficult, according to USA Today.
Thanksgiving Day is almost always the cheapest day to fly for the holiday. This should be no surprise. But how do the other travel days surrounding the holiday compare?
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after—avoid flying on these days if at all possible. They are the busiest travel dates and most expensive. The price of this itinerary has been rising since late August and is currently increasing on average by $1.50 a day, which jumps to about $2.50 a day in October. This could add up to almost $200 in additional fare per ticket.
A cheaper itinerary would be the Tuesday before and the Monday after Thanksgiving. If you don’t have to worry about school or work schedules, try flying the Saturday before to the Monday after and you may see exceptional savings.
Although Thanksgiving is a quintessential American holiday whose folklore or history, depending on your perspective, is well known by every American school child, harvest time holidays are common throughout the world whose themes don’t stray far from giving thanks for what one has. However the specific harvest time festival of Thanksgiving is celebrated in several places outside the United States.
One society who celebrates Thanksgiving is our neighbor to the north, Canada. While the exact origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are unknown scholars have several thoughts. Some attribute it to Martin Frobisher who put on a celebration to give thanks for he and his crews survival of the long passage from England – on the way they encountered dangers such as storms and icebergs. Some credited the settlers of New France who came over with explorer Samuel d Champlain who gave thanks for a successful harvest.
As various settlers began arriving from Europe and New England they brought the harvest traditions of their homeland to Canada.
Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Liberia, the only African country created by American colonization. American freed slaves settled the colony in the 1820s. These freed slaves brought the traditional American Thanksgiving with them to Liberia. However, since turkey and pumpkin aren’t indigenous food stuffs they have been replaced with things like roast chicken and mashed cassavas – both much spicier than the food average Americans eat. Their celebrations also included church services, music, song and dance.
Norfolk Island, a territory of Australia, originally established by the mutineers of the HMS Bounty and their Tahitian captives, celebrates a version of Thanksgiving brought over by American Whaling ships.
Between 1609 and 1620 some Pilgrims who would later settle at Plymouth Plantation first come to the Netherlands. Because many had recorded marriages, births and deaths there there is a non-denominational celebration every year in honor of the Pilgrims who escaped religious persecution.
The German Erntedankfest – a Christian celebration – is a Thanksgiving-like holiday that while mostly religious in nature includes large harvest dinners.
In Japan, in November, there is a Labor Thanksgiving Holiday (roughly translated) in which people give thanks to each other and celebrate hard work. Though created during the American occupation after WWII the celebration has its roots in an ancient festival also celebrating hard work.
All over the world, whether the fruit on an American root or not, during harvest time many people take time out of their busy lives to spend with family to remember to reflect on on what they have been given.
Thanksgiving is noted as one of the biggest travel days of the year – much of this travel is undoubtedly family traveling to visit family. However, some choose to vacation during the holiday and let someone else handle the turkey et al. The Victor crew found a couple places worth visiting during the Thanksgiving Holidays.
Ashville, North Carolina
Ashville has become a hip destination for both travelers and people looking to relocate some place laid back and little eccentric. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains Ashville has no shortage of natural beauty and nature activities—though the animals slow down and hiking requires a jacket and gloves around Thanksgiving. Though North Carolina’s climate is normally considered subtropic, the elevation leads to cooler temperatures.
In Ashville, the beautiful cobble stone Omni Grove Park Inn offers a fantastic Thanksgiving package that includes lodging in the luxurious rooms of the Inn as well as daily breakfast and either a Grand Buffet or banquet meal on Thanksgiving for dinner.
Guests are encouraged to try the newly opened Edison Craft Ales & Kitchen restaurant which will be featuring holiday specials. Additionally the National Gingerbread House Competition Display will be open for viewing.
Baltimore is a city rich with history and tradition and has plenty on the table to offer travelers year round; it might, however, make an interesting Thanksgiving destination. Bring your winter clothes, but don’t worry there will be plenty of great food and exciting activities to keep you warm.
For one, you’ll want to check out the German Christmas Village—which offers traditional German food as well as holiday crafts. Modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christkindlmarket. There is a lot to see, a lot to eat and traditional holiday music to listen to. More info here: http://www.baltimore-christmas.com/25-0-History.html
You’ll also want to check out the so-called “Miracle on 34th Street,” literally on 34th street in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. Here you will find two blocks of row houses done up in thousands of twinkle lights and other decorations. More information can be found here: http://www.christmasstreet.com/
Baltimore also offers plenty of historic and museum type activities, but be advised that they may have special holiday hours. Check ahead of time with an museums or guided tours!
While either of these destinations would make a fabulous out-of-town holiday for the family on Thanksgiving, many of us will enjoy a traditional family gathering at home – whatever our traditions
Jody found the following places had travel tips for the holiday this year:
The Red Cross has travel tips for Thanksgiving.
Their site has tips for traveling by car, air, train, or public transportation.
The Travel Channel also has some tips for travel on their site.
Family Education has some Thanksgiving travel tips as well.
Jody found that even AARP had some travel tips for this Thanksgiving. According to this site, you can even apply for TSA pre-check expedited screening!
Even truck drivers offer safety tips for Thanksgiving travel from the American Trucking Associations.
Jody suggest that however or wherever you travel this Thanksgiving, do it safely!