Top U.S. Vacation Destinations in November

november_carThe vast majority of travel in November revolves around Thanksgiving trips and reunions of families and friends, so U.S. vacation destinations in November tend to cater to holiday celebrants.  If you’re looking for places to go and/or things to do that can energize your travel plans — including one destination that has nothing to do with Turkey Day but provides fun for the whole family — read on.

New York City.  november_nycMacy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, perhaps the most famous display of floats in the world, attracts 3 million people along the route and another 50 million who tune in to catch some of the broadcast.  If parades aren’t your idea of fun, New York in November also stages the ING New York City Marathon, the New York Comedy Festival, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, among other events.

NFL games on Thanksgiving Day.  This season’s slate of traditional Thanksgiving fare offers three exciting contests, whether you attend in person or watch on TV:

  • Green Bay at Detroit.  Save for the 1939-44 seasons, Detroit has held a holiday game every year since 1934.  This year, the Lions take on their NFC North foes, the Green Bay Packers, at Ford Field at 12:30 (Fox), in what could be a pivotal step in the division title race.
  • Oakland at Dallas.  Dallas, which has hosted a Thanksgiving game in all but two seasons since 1966, welcomes the Oakland Raiders to AT&T Stadium in the 4:30 game (CBS).  The Raiders may be playing for an AFC wild-card berth at best, but the Cowboys have a shot at winning the weak NFC East this season.
  • Pittsburgh at Baltimore.  The Steelers travel to Charm City to face the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in an AFC North matchup at 8:30 (NBC).  The Steelers have been struggling this season, and the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens aren’t overpowering many teams, but this has been the fiercest rivalry in the NFL over the last decade.

The Colorado Rockies.  Savvy skiers are eager to take advantage of the relatively sparse number of mountain-goers over Thanksgiving weekend.  From Aspen to Vail, from Breckenridge to Steamboat, and everywhere in between, skiers and snowboarders can shred the steep vertical drops at Colorado ski resorts in November while navigating smaller-than-usual crowds.

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Union City, Tennessee.  Discovery Park of America, located three hours west of Nashville, is scheduled to open on November 1 and will likely become a popular attraction year-round.  It will feature simulations of the area’s 1811-12 earthquakes; an “interactive starship theatre”; a 20,000-gallon aquarium; a 48-foot model of the human body (including a slide in its leg); and a wide range of natural and historical artifacts across the 50-acre complex.

Regardless of your November vacation destination, you can earn 5% cash back on flight, hotel, and rental-car reservations, along with rebates on travel perks, through Travel Plus.  Click here for additional tips on how to save on Thanksgiving travel, and let us know in Comments where you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this year.

Money-Saving Travel Tips: How to Save on Thanksgiving Travel

thanksgiving_travelNow that nights have turned chilly again, fall foliage has started moving south, and footballs are filling the air every weekend, it’s high time (if not past time) to make Thanksgiving travel plans.  Contrary to popular belief, Thanksgiving weekend may not be the busiest time of year to travel, but it can still feel that way when you’re crawling through a traffic jam or a backed-up airport security line.  Of course, if you don’t plan ahead, you won’t have to worry about busy airports, because you won’t have a flight to catch (unless you’re “lucky” enough to find a high-priced, last-minute seat).  To help relieve at least some of the financial burdens of your holiday trip, here are a few tips on how to save on Thanksgiving travel:

  • Make your reservations ASAP.  The (fairly) early booker gets the best holiday rates — and the best seats.  Unless you’re willing to risk being wedged into a middle seat between, say, a chronic snorer and someone who thinks good hygiene is highly overrated, the benefits of choosing your own seat can be huge — especially if you need to make a connecting flight.thanksgiving_travel_off-fly-days
  • Fly on “off” days.  Evidence and popular opinion suggest that the day before Thanksgiving is the single busiest travel day of the year.  It’s certainly a high-demand day, and high demand means high prices.  You’ll find lower airfares the weekend before Thanksgiving Day and the Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday following it.  (In fact, some of the cheapest fares might be available on Thanksgiving Day itself.)  If you have some flexibility, extend your stay — or cut it short.
  • Compare prices at different airports.  If you’re flying into or out of a big city, you may have multiple airport, airline, and airfare options.  Skip the closest airport if you can save good money by driving an extra half-hour.
  • Drive instead of flying.  Gas prices often peak in the summer, when more families hit the road for vacations, and prices at the pump have been dropping recently.  There’s no guarantee that they won’t increase again around Thanksgiving, but depending on your destination, the cost of driving may still end up below airfare costs.  (Just be careful out there; Thanksgiving is one of the three most dangerous driving holidays.)thanksgiving-transportation
  • Consider alternative transportation.  Take the train, commuter van, or bus to the plane to save on parking fees, or take the train or bus all the way to your destination.  Rail and bus fares for shorter trips tend to be more reasonable than airfare (or rental cars, for that matter), and children usually travel for less.

Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season (quite literally this year:  Hanukkah begins at sunset on the day before Thanksgiving), so it’s critical to find ways to save on your Thanksgiving travel plans.  To earn 5% cash back on reservations and additional rebates on travel conveniences, be sure to check out Travel Plus.  And wherever you’re going for Turkey Day, travel safely (and dine well)!