Not everyone heads over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving. If you’d rather make plans that turn your four-day break into a vacation, here’s some good news: November is a great time for travel deals. Try one of these inexpensive vacation ideas for getting out of town while everyone else is dozing off in front of the television after a huge meal.
1. Go Camping
November tends to be cold in many areas of the U.S., but if you’re not a beach person, winter-weather vacations offer a unique break from the 9-to-5. Ranches and dude ranches offer inexpensive indoor accommodations and plenty to do, from horseback riding to cross-country skiing. Vacation packages often include meals and activities for under $100 per night per person — less than a hotel might cost in a metropolitan area. Or consider staying at a National Park, where hotels often offer significantly discounted rates over Thanksgiving.
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2. Get Warm on the Islands
Heading to the Caribbean for Thanksgiving might seem counterintuitive if you want to save money, but some great deals can be found in the islands at this time of year. Technically, November is still hurricane season, warding off travelers. In actuality, late season hurricanes are very rare, and resorts offer sweet deals during this time when they need to attract guests. Some Bahamian hotels even let kids stay free if you’re traveling with a family.
3. Hola, Mexico!
The factors that drive island prices down in November apply to Mexico, too. Even if lounging on the beach isn’t your cup of tea, Cancun and Cozumel offer nearby ruins to explore as well as other cultural activities. November is considered the off-season, but the weather is still fine with an average daily high of 85˚ F. The rainy season is a thing of the past in Mexico City by this time of year, although temperatures are a bit cooler. Accommodations here cost less in November than almost any other time of the year, as peak season doesn’t begin until late December.
4. Hit the High Seas
Competition is fierce in the cruise ship industry, so consider hopping aboard if you’re thinking warm weather this Thanksgiving. Cruise ship companies are vying for vacationers at this time of year, so a cruise can be pretty cost effective, particularly if you have kids and they share a stateroom with you. Prices are still friendly if you’re traveling alone or with another adult, usually well under $1,000 per person for a full seven nights. You won’t even have to get off the boat for a good time with all the amenities these ships offer, although that’s certainly an option as the ships stop in multiple ports. Most cruise lines offer lots of activities for kids, too.
5. Head North to Canada
If saving money is your goal this Thanksgiving, head to a place where your dollar goes further. The exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada buys you about 30 percent more for every buck you spend, which means a vacation here is a steal compared to its American equivalent. You may be scratching your head wondering what there is to do in Canada on a cold weekend in November. But most Canadian cities, particularly Vancouver, are cultural meccas offering shopping, museums, arts, breweries and fine restaurants.