Thanksgiving Travel: Vacation Ideas For The Holiday

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Thanksgiving Travel: Vacation Ideas For The Holiday

Thanksgiving travel

As a kid, I remember those big Thanksgiving family dinners around the dining room table. Our idea of Thanksgiving travel consisted of going nowhere at all. The whole family would gather in my hometown of Gary, Indiana. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and immediate family all together as one. Mama’s sweet potato pies and rum cakes on the dessert counter, combined with turkey and all the trimmings positioned as the main display. Before eating, we’d go around the table and say what we are thankful for, then join hands in prayer before diving into the meal. A tradition always immediately followed by my father’s favorite line of:

“Rise, Peter. Slay and eat.”

Although I long for those days of grandma at the head of the Thanksgiving table, with family spread out and many elders passed on, the idea of Thanksgiving travel has become a more appealing option. With that said, the question of: “Where to go for Thanksgiving travel arises?”

Where to go

Thanksgiving Travel to Tennessee

Skip the smoked turkey and head to the Smoky Mountains. Or, as the old English proverb states, “Have your smoked turkey and Smoky Mountains too!” In either case, Gatlinburg offers a great, family-friendly Thanksgiving travel option. With the Great Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show in full swing and the Smoky Mountains nearby, you can combine crafts, fitness, and good food all in the same trip.

Smoky Mountains

Thanksgiving Travel to New Orleans

There’s a saying that everything is bigger in Texas. However, with New Orleans being the birthplace of the turducken, you won’t find a bigger centerpiece than this on your traditional Thanksgiving table. If the hybrid bird doesn’t quite fancy your taste buds, fear not, you can engage in an alternative Thanksgiving dinner of Po’ Boys, crawfish, and seafood fresh from the Gulf.

New Orleans

Thanksgiving Travel During Dead Week

Dead week refers to a period immediately following a major holiday. While prices usually spike during peak travel period, Thanksgiving travel during dead week is great for two reasons. 1). You can still enjoy a small family dinner at home. 2). You can travel to some far-off location at a fraction of what you would have paid a week earlier. The best of both worlds!


Honorable Mention: Thanksgiving travel to Alaska

If an alternative holiday menu, and location, are what you seek; then look no further than Alaska. Pack your parka as you prepare for the long journey up north. And be ready to replace that holiday staple of warm turkey with items such as reindeer roast and raw whale. We only live once, after all, and life is all about adventure!

Alaskan Aurora

In the comments below, share where you will be (or would like to be) on this Thanksgiving holiday?



  1. I would want to visit Alaska. Since ive seen the place in a number of movies, I got real curious about the place. And I guess the perfect time to.visit Alaska is during the Christmas season. Yes, youve said it right. Life is one great adventure and it’s what makes life pretty exciting.

  2. Tomáš says:

    Alaska! God, I want to go there Christmas. It can so amazing for such a Grinch like me.

  3. LaShawn says:

    I will use any excuse I can to travel to New Orleans! But this year, we traveled to San Francisco!

  4. Laura says:

    Such great ideas for a trip this time of year! We just posted our Top 7 Tips for Traveling during Thanksgiving, too! Everyone’s got travel on the brain 🙂

  5. So many places to travel! I love love travelling through the holidays! You meet so many people in the way and share the joy with them as well!

  6. Enele Ogah says:

    I would like to be at Ghana and Abuja.
    Thanks for the ideas!

  7. Kusum says:

    So many great ideas and places to travel to this TG! Sadly, we are most likely staying put this year, enjoying sometime with my baby 🙂

    xx, Kusum |

  8. Claire says:

    I love Alaska, so beautiful! I also need to go to New Orleans, it’s only a few hours away from Houston but I haven’t gotten yet. Tennesse looks so relaxing too.

  9. Blair villanueva says:

    Christmas day is ourversion of thanksgiving day, which my Mom tends to cook like a feast 🙂
    The fun part is enjoying with family and friends.

    • EG III says:

      I love Christmas dinners around the world…It’s always interesting to see what different foods are available in different parts of the world.

  10. Michelle V says:

    I only live about an hour from Gatlinburg but I never seem to get over there. The arts and crafts festival sounds like a lot of fun.

  11. Michelle says:

    I love the Smokys, great place anytime. However cold it is here in Indiana (not too far from Gary myself) spending time with family & good food is what I am most grateful for on Thanksgiving. Now any other time of year I’d love to visit somewhere warmer!

  12. Ali Rost says:

    My brother and sister-in-law live in Austin, Texas and the rest of our (small) family lives in Iowa. Usually, we all head south for Thanksgiving, but this year they’re coming home to us. We’ll play cards, drink wine, and eat lots of coconut cream pie. I can’t wait! x

  13. I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so mine would just be a trip in general but I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans so this sounds like a great trip x

  14. I am also considering traveling to a fab destination during the holidays. They are not the same since my parents passed away. My Mom was an excellent cook and her mac-n-cheese, cakes are pies were oh so delicious. These are great options for a holiday getaway. I’ll pass on the gator burger though (lol).

  15. jhilmil says:

    We usually stay at home during thanksgiving so we just came back from a beautiful 10 days vacation. Love these travel ideas, need to trip to Alaska soon, getting crazy over it!

  16. Emma says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in England, but I’ve always thought it is a lovely tradition. Spending time with family, friends and loved ones is so special. I would love to go to Alaska, what beautiful place to be.

  17. Oh, I think a trip to New Orleans would be just amazing! I’m so obsessed with this city! And I think I’ve never seen it during the holidays! Yep that’s my “dream-thanksgiving-destination”

  18. I’m in the UK so don’t celebrate thanksgiving I’d love to visit all of these places though. I hope u have a lovely thanksgiving whatever/where ever u get up to.

  19. Xtineloves says:

    AWWWW, I feel so happy reading this, I have never been, but I will one day, lovely story and pics – keep it up!! xxx

  20. Kita says:

    WE stay home for Thanksgiving but travel for Christmas. Maybe next year we will take a Thanksgiving trip. New Orleans would be my pick.

  21. Kiwi says:

    I am actually traveling for Thanksgiving. I am having a friendsgiving with two of my blogger friends we are doing a press trip to Jekyll Island!

  22. Ashleigh says:

    I so want to hit Alaska to see those Northern Lights in person! Because I live far from my family I always use Thanksgiving to travel back home.

  23. Carissa says:

    These pictures are amazing! And these are great tips! I didn’t know about the dead week, but this is something to think about when planning a trip!

  24. Stacie says:

    I’ve never considered traveling during Thanksgiving because all my family is right here. But these are some interesting ideas. Especially since it looks like Alaska right outside my door lol.

  25. Tione says:

    I hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving day. Where I’m from we do not celebrate Thanksgiving day.

    • EG III says:

      Well, the good thing is these locations are great destinations for any time of year and not just the thanksgiving holiday 🙂

  26. Tiki says:

    I miss family Thanksgivings too. However, I think now that my girls are grown, it’s the perfect time for me to start getting out and traveling during the holidays.

  27. Bridgid says:

    I’m in the same situation. My family always got together for the holidays but everyone is spread out all over the country. I’ve really been thinking about holiday travel. These are some great ideas.

  28. Bernetta says:

    These are great options. We are traveling to 2 states for Thanksgiving ourselves! Charlotte and Georgia

  29. Natasha says:

    I REALLY want to get to Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis! I know that I can see it in the lower states, but there’s something magical about being able to cross Alaska off my list AND see this magical dancing of lights.

  30. Joi Light says:

    Living in Georgia, we could definitely take advantage of spending Thanksgiving in TN. It’s too late now, but something to plan for next year 🙂

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