Whether you’re traveling to visit family or searching for Thanksgiving fun in a new city, you’re likely looking to save as many pennies as possible. While prices for just about everything are soaring to new heights, there are still plenty of ways to save money. No matter your destination, there are some tricks you can utilize to stay within budget without sacrificing fun.
From flight price tips to accommodation discounts, you can ensure that your Thanksgiving travels won’t leave you too broke for Christmas. Check out our top ten ways to travel cheap for Thanksgiving that will have you feeling grateful.
10 Frugal Flights: Be Flexible
When you have an exact date in mind, you’ll be left with little room when searching for lower prices. We recommend using Google Flights as they display a calendar with all the prices for each day. By seeing each price point, you can then pick your flight date with the lowest price tag. Always plan around the lowest-priced flight date rather than planning a detailed Thanksgiving trip with set dates before buying flight tickets.
Another great feature of Google Flights is that you can sign up for price alerts for certain flights, and they’ll email you when a price drop occurs. Grab ‘em fast!
9 Enjoy All-Inclusive Resort Deals
Resorts may seem not-so-hip, but they do offer great deals around the holidays. When you purchase an all-inclusive resort package, this means you’ll receive accommodation, food, guided tours, and more for one discounted price tag. Plenty of resorts around the world will offer these sorts of deals, so you may have to do some research on your destination to see which resort has the best offer. This is when a travel agent comes in handy, and we recommend reaching out to one in order to get the most out of your Thanksgiving vacation.
8 Road Trip Ideas
The best way to cut flight costs is by not flying at all. A road trip is perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday, as the family will definitely enjoy the fun that road-tripping has to offer. Check out which cities within driving distance you and your family have yet to explore and get planning. While you will still have to add up gas prices to your budget, it will likely still be much cheaper than any plane ticket. Not only will you be spending more time with your family, but you’ll also get to explore more of your home country and save money at the same time.
7 Frequent Flyer Miles
While some airlines will make it more difficult to use your frequent flyer miles during the holidays, it’s not entirely impossible. You may be surprised by just how much you can save by using your credit points. While airlines would restrict frequent flyer miles being used on holidays by calling them “blackout dates,” they now just charge more miles.
That’s why we recommend being flexible when it comes to flight dates and always choosing the date that will give you more bang for your buck, AKA frequent flyer miles. Side note: you may find a better bargain for booking business instead of economy when it comes to frequent flyer miles.
6 Book Flights Early
Don’t wait until a few weeks before your trip to purchase plane tickets. By booking your flights early in advance, you’re ensuring that you’re getting the best price possible. Although you can sometimes get a great deal for last-minute flights, this is less likely when it comes to Thanksgiving. Flights near Thanksgiving will be fully booked, and empty seats will be rare. That’s why booking more than three months in advance is always recommended when booking flights for the holidays.
5 A Mexican Thanksgiving
If you think traveling internationally is always going to be expensive, you’ve never enjoyed the riches of Mexico. As this is also a less-traveled destination during the Thanksgiving holiday, you’re bound to get plenty of great deals. If you live in the southern California area and want to have a Cabo Thanksgiving, you’re looking at a roundtrip flight for under $500. Accommodations and food will also be more inexpensive depending on your choice of travel destination. Whether you head to the culture-filled city of Oaxaca or the clear beaches of Cabo, you’ll definitely be having a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget.
4 Fly On Thanksgiving
Not ideal, but definitely the best way to get the lowest-priced flight. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend all of Thanksgiving at the airport. You can fly out in the early morning and be at your destination by the afternoon. An additional bonus is that airports will likely be the calmest you’ve ever experienced, as most people will be packed in lines on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving rather than the day itself.
3 Airbnb Vs. Hotels
While prices on Airbnb seem to rise due to increasing popularity, you will find that it’s still a more inexpensive option than traditional hotels. Not only is staying in an Airbnb more cost-friendly, but it also provides even more comfort with all the utilities as your own home. If you still want to have a home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving, then an Airbnb home with a full kitchen will be just what you need. Airbnb homes sell out fast during the holidays, so be sure to book them in advance to get the best deals and the best homes available.
2 Fly Early Morning Or Late Evening
Since most people either don’t want to wake up early or fly out later in the day, these times will have the best prices. A flight leaving at 5 am will be drastically cheaper than one leaving at 10 am. If you’re a night owl and would never wake up that early, then try booking a red eye. Search for flights leaving after 11 pm and arriving early in the morning. These late-night flights will be cheaper and less packed with travelers.
1 Be A Housesitter
Okay, hear us out. Many families will be leaving their homes for Thanksgiving and need people to housesit. When you choose to housesit or petsit on Thanksgiving, you’re getting your entire accommodation for free. Always search for available homes on trusted sites with reliable reviews, like TrustedHousitters or MindMyHome. You’ll be able to find homes all over the world, from Europe to Australia. Not only will this be an unforgettable experience, but it will also save you loads of cash.