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Why Thanksgiving is the best time to travel internationally

Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times to fly in America as millions of people head home to spend time with family and friends over turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. What many people don’t realize is that Thanksgiving is one of the best times to travel internationally.

If you’re willing to give up your traditional Thanksgiving feast, traveling over this week is one of the best kept secrets in travel. More than 52 million people are expected to travel domestically this year for Thanksgiving, while less than 4 million people on average travel internationally over the Thanksgiving holiday. Because most Americans choose to stay close to home or choose to travel domestically over the week of Thanksgiving, it’s a great time to go abroad. Demand is lower which equates to lower prices compared to the peak seasons of summer and Christmas. International airport terminals tend to be less busy, hotels are more affordable and there are less crowds.

We had the pool and beach practically to ourselves over Thanksgiving in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago.

It’s an easy week to get away as schools are closed at least half that week and many businesses close the Friday after Thanksgiving. You may be able to get away to that far-flung dream vacation without burning through your PTO time. Think about it! It's possible to get away on a nine day vacation using only three PTO days!

In 2019, my husband and I went to Paris over Thanksgiving and met our kids and some friends. Here we are at Le Relais de L’Entrecôte enjoying our Thanksgiving feast of

Steak and Frites.

A big part of Thanksgiving for many of us is food. And that doesn’t have to change just because you’re not at home. Wherever I have been on Thanksgiving, I’ve made an effort to have an extra special meal to celebrate. For Thanksgiving dinner in Paris one year, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of Steak and Frites at the famous Le Relais de L'Entrecôte. Another year we pigged out on tacos on the beach in Puerto Vallarta on Thanksgiving evening. And last year, I feasted on Thai cuisine prepared by a local chef while exploring the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand wearing a bikini on a private long tail boat.

How about a Thai Thanksgiving picnic on a long tail boat in the Phi Phi Islands

Are you ready to trade that turkey for travel? Here are some examples we found where you can travel internationaly for close to the same amount, if not less than, domestic travel.

Boston to Seattle $648 vs Boston to Marrakech $603

JFK to Minneapolis $408 vs JFK to Paris $498

LAX to Miami $618 vs LAX to Barcelona $629

Phoenix to Atlanta $645 vs Phoenix to Mazatlan $432

Seattle to Dallas $698 vs Seattle to Reykjavik $719

*These fares were valid on 10/3/2022 for travel over Thanksgiving this year*

If you needed a little more convincing, the US dollar is stronger than it's been in quite some time. Americans travling to Europe will definetly see their dollar go farther given its soaring value against the Euro and the British Pound. As of the writting of this post (10/3/22), one Euro is worth about 98 cents and the pound is $1.13. You're going to have additional buying power versus in past years and it's a great opportunity for budget travelers. Talk about getting a bang for your travel buck!

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