Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Holiday Events, Vacation Travel

Tips for Better Thanksgiving Travel

October 8, 2019

Canadian Thanksgiving, celebrated on the second Monday in October, will take place on Monday October 14th this year (2019). 

The week of Thanksgiving can be one of the craziest travel periods of the year, with millions of people flying to visit family and friends for the holiday. This can make things pretty stressful. 

However, traveling during Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are some tips for your next Thanksgiving getaways.  

Smart Thanksgiving Travel Tips

  1. Plan ahead and arrive early, think about the rush hour times for each city you have to drive through. Unexpected delays might happen, so it’s a good idea to build in extra time just in case. 

  2. When driving, consider taking the scenic route. Even though the distance may be longer, you won’t end up sitting bumper to bumper so it might be faster. 

  3. Download the Waze app. It allows you to see real-time updates on accidents, traffic, police traps and more. 

  4. If you’re road tripping with kids, make sure you bring along plenty of books, toys and other distractions to keep them happy and entertained while on the journey. 

  5. If you have to travel by plane, save money by flying back on Black Friday. Everyone is too busy shopping and the rates for flights are often much cheaper. 

  6. If the airline gives you the option for text messages with flight updates, take it! Sometimes it’s really useful and can alert you to last minute updates. 

  7. Also, you can use your smartphone to check-in early and have your boarding pass delivered electronically. This will allow you to bypass the line at the check-in kiosk. 

  8. If you can be flexible with your dates, you can usually find last minute deals on Skyscanner. 

  9. If you’re tempted to stay in a hotel rather than sleep in the spare room or sofa, hotels are usually underbooked during Thanksgiving and you may be able to find last minute deals. 

  10. When bringing food, sweet, treats and other goodies with you on the plane, make sure you check with the airline first. For example, gravies, relishes and jams are often considered “liquid” and are not allowed on the plane. 

  11. When it comes to what clothing to pack, the key word is layers. Temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day in the autumn, so make sure you can adjust when things cool down.


thanksgiving travel

Where to Go for Thanksgiving

What if you’re planning to hit the road and enjoy a getaway over the Thanksgiving holiday? There are many different Thanksgiving destinations available throughout Canada and the USA – here are a few great options you might consider. 

  1. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: This family-friendly destination has lots of great festive events around American Thanksgiving. For example, you can enjoy Winterfest, a beautiful celebration of lights.

  2. Toronto, Ontario: Head to the bright lights and big city of Toronto for Thanksgiving. There’s so much to see and do in the city!

  3. Las Vegas, Nevada: Why not go on a Thanksgiving getaway to Sin City and have a bit of fun in the casinos? If you hit the jackpot, you’ll have a lot to be thankful for! 

  4. Montreal, Quebec: This beautiful city is so much fun to explore over Thanksgiving. The autumn leaves look spectacular and the weather is just right. Do some shopping, check out the art galleries and more. (Note: Thanksgiving is known as action de grâce in Quebec and it is celebrated slightly less than in other parts of Canada.)

  5. The Adirondacks, New York: This stunning forested area in New York state looks even more beautiful in the autumn as the leaves begin to change colour. Check out the many award-winning spas, golf courses and restaurants in the region. 

  6. Chicago, Illinois: Why not pair your Thanksgiving turkey with a deep dish pizza while you explore this exciting and culturally rich American city? Check out the famous stand-up comedy scene and go on an architecture tour (skyscrapers were invented here). 

  7. Vancouver Island, British Columbia: Stroll the beaches of Tofino, go on a whale watching tour or take a walking tour of historic downtown Victoria’s turn-of-the-century buildings. 

  8. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee: Explore the great outdoors at one of the most popular National Parks in the USA. With over 150 official hiking trails, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to breathe in the fresh and crisp fall air.

(Keep in mind that if you will be traveling over the border on Thanksgiving long weekend, you should allow for extra time. The border will be busy and you may need to wait in line for quite some time.)

Be Thankful

Last but not least, the most important tip for Thanksgiving travel is to be thankful. Even though your journey may be delayed and crowded, express gratitude for the opportunity to travel with your loved ones and enjoy your holiday. 

Latest posts by Kelly Dunning (see all)

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply