Thanksgiving kicks off the start of the busy winter travel season, and it doesn’t slow down until after the New Year. It’s getting down to the wire, so finding the best destinations on a budget requires just a little flexibility and patience.
The best way to find a deal is to consider traveling on Thanksgiving Day and staying gone until the following week. You can do the same thing by traveling a few days or even a week before if you can take an extended ten-day to two-week vacation.
It’s highly recommended to avoid traveling the day before Thanksgiving and avoid layovers to reduce the possibility of travel disruptions. Here are the best Thanksgiving destinations for budget travelers.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Budget travelers will find there are many reasons to love Fort Lauderdale. For starters, it’s a great destination to fly over the holiday week because there are more than 300 flights in and out of Fort Lauderdale daily.
While it’s approximately 32 miles north of Miami, the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is significantly cheaper in Miami, and visitors will notice the difference.
The average price of a three-star hotel in Miami is $213 per night versus $144 per night in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale is also known for its free beaches, natural wonders, art walks, and more.
Round-trip tickets from Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Austin, Richmond, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco are priced for less than $250 round-trip, according to Skyscanner, but the cheapest option leaves from Atlanta.
Use November 21 through November 29 as your travel dates in Expedia. The airfare is priced below $100.
Catalonia’s capital city, Barcelona, is a great place to visit during the Thanksgiving holiday season, especially for people looking for good food and mild weather with a bit of fun. Barcelona is a favorite among budget travelers. It consistently ranks as a budget-friendly travel destination in Europe compared to other cities.
Travelers can enjoy the public beaches, get lost in street art, or visit one of the more than 80 museums. One of the best ways to spend Thanksgiving in Barcelona is inside Mercado de La Boqueria. Foodies will find the best food, spices, drinks, and snacks in the city.
If you’re into finding deals on more than flights and accommodations, some of the best Black Friday deals can be found in Barcelona at various boutiques and clothing stores.
When using the dates November 22 through the 29th, travelers will find flights from Washington, D.C., Orlando, New York City, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Charlotte for less than $550 round-trip on Skyscanner.
The cheapest option is for people who probably need it the most: Chicagoans. It’s a great time to escape the cloudy and wet weather. Expedia has a round-trip ticket for less than $500.
Mexico City, Mexico
November in Mexico is a sweet spot for travelers as it’s mild ahead of the beginning of the dry season. While travelers just missed the Day of the Dead celebrations at the beginning of the month, there are plenty of things to do. One popular site is the Frida Kahlo Museum. The museum, known as the Blue House, is the Mexican artist’s former home. It houses a collection of art and personal items from her life.
It’s also a great time to try some seasonal tamales that are usually filled with pumpkin, sweet potato, and cranberry. These tamales are perfect for a Thanksgiving meal.
People traveling in the middle of the month will be there just in time for the Corona Capital Festival. It’s an annual international music festival in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Flights from Miami, Houston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia run for less than $425 round-trip on Skyscanner. Use November 22 through November 29 as your travel dates.
The cheapest option is from San Antonio, just a day early. Use November 21 through November 29 as your travel dates in Expedia for a round-trip flight for less than $400.
Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico is always a good idea, especially during Thanksgiving, because flights are incredibly cheap. Puerto Rico is a popular destination year-round, but November is an excellent time for people looking for more peace on the island. For perspective, there are roughly 100,000 visitors that travel to Puerto Rico in June and July compared to less than 80,000 in November.
It’s a great time to visit some of the popular sites throughout the city without large crowds. The Ponce Art Museum, El Yunque National Forest, and San Juan National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage site, should all be on the itinerary.
This flight deal is an excellent option for travelers who want to bring someone else along because there are so many departure cities with round-trip flights for less than $250. Use November 22 through the 29th as the travel dates in Skyscanner. Flights from Atlanta, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Nashville, Durham, Tampa, New Orleans, New York City, Houston, and Denver are all departure cities with this incredible deal.
Miami is the cheapest option, according to Expedia. Using November 21 through November 29 will get you to San Juan for less than $200 round-trip.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Budget travelers looking to mix outdoor recreation with the arts will enjoy Albuquerque for the number of options found throughout New Mexico’s largest city. There are more than 300 days of sunshine in Albuquerque, leaving plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, or taking a sunny road trip to the state’s capital.
Once the outdoor adventure is done, travelers have more than a dozen museums to explore. One of the best museums is the Albuquerque Museum. Inside, there are more than 10,000 works of art, 35,000 historical objects, and more than 100,000 photographs.
This flight deal is for people who don’t mind traveling on Thanksgiving Day. Round-trip flights from Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland, Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta are priced below $250. Use November 23 through the 30th as your travel dates in Skyscanner.
The cheapest option departs from Phoenix. Use November 23 through November 30 as your travel dates in Expedia for a round-trip ticket less than $200.
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