3 Ways to make a family getaway more affordable over Thanksgiving break
If you’d like to get away with the family over the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m right there with you. This year, my kids have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off during Thanksgiving week; throw in the weekend, and we’ve got five days of possible family fun! Traveling for Thanksgiving is especially attractive this year. With Christmas falling on a Sunday, parents can't couple the holiday with a weekend for an extended getaway in December.
Of course, airlines and hotels know this, too! And pricing reflects it. For example, a flight from Portland, Oregon to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines that departs on Wednesday, November 23 and returns Sunday, November 27 prices out at $1371 per passenger! Take that same flight on Monday, November 7 for $485. Lodging suffers from similar holiday inflation.
KidTripster Tip: If you’re the parent of a non-school-aged child, I beg of you to travel during non-holiday periods while you can! Once your kids get to about third or fourth grade, it’s not really advisable to miss school. And if your child is a junior in high school, forget about missing any school at all!
However, it’s still possible to grab some coveted family time on a vacation over the holidays, if you think a little outside the box.
Photo courtesy: Gabriel Garcia Marengo
1/Visit a national or state park
Camping for Thanksgiving? You may not think of a national or state park as a destination in November, but why not? Some parks - Death Valley and Joshua Tree come to mind - are actually better visited during cooler periods of the year. At other parks, you’ll just need to bundle up. Last year, my family and I camped 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean at Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park in Washington. Not wanting to prepare Thanksgiving dinner in our RV, we walked down the trail to Kalaloch Lodge which was celebrating the holiday with an all-you-could-eat spread. Don’t have an RV? You’ll find many park lodges to be affordably priced during this time of year.
KidTripster Tip: Call ahead to determine if area restaurants will be serving on Thanksgiving Day and then make a reservation.
2/Take an intentional city staycation
In an attempt to avoid the headaches and expense of flying during the Thanksgiving holiday, opt to stay in your own city- but not on your couch! Really explore everything your area has to offer families. If you live in a major metropolitan area, check out KidTripster’s 10/10/10 city guides. These guides include our top 10 picks for family-friendly PLAYS, STAYS, and EATS in cities across the country. Click here to find yours.
Photo courtesy: Travel Portland
3/Drive to a local resort
If you’re looking to have a 5-star experience over the holiday, consider a resort within driving distance. That way, you’ll still feel like you’re on vacation without the exorbitant airfare. Even in the fall, many resorts have recreational activities to keep the whole family busy. And you’re practically guaranteed to have a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner where you don’t have to cook or clean up! Check out our KidTripster's Beaches or Escapes for properties that have been kid-tested by our parent writers.
Photo courtesy: The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah is the only one in her family who really loves turkey, so she hasn’t cooked a big bird in years.