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This week, millions of Americans are trekking near and far to spend Thanksgiving with beloved friends and family. They’ll also have to play catch-up with folks they would not associate with if not legally required to do so – in-laws. A recent survey conducted by Extended Stay American found most travelers will spend the weekend with relatives instead of putting up for a hotel. Chances of being backed into a corner by that one in-law you cannot stand are high, and it may seem the only choice to making it through is gritting your teeth and hoping for a stocked bar.
But if getting drunk in a locked basement with your cousins and discussing how your aunt’s boyfriend is, ugh, seriously the worst isn’t an option, there are alternative courses of action:
Holiday travel should be about escaping your workaday routine, taking time to find the proper perspective on life, and savoring the truly important things. Of course, we all know that getting away during this time of year is never that simple. All too often, holiday travel is remembered for long lines, increased stress, and unpleasant time spent with your extended family. It’s that last issue that we’re addressing in this week’s SkyMall Tuesday. Thanksgiving forces you to eat, drink, and force a smile with dozens of people who you would never choose to befriend in any other situation. This, of course, leads to awkwardness, hostility, and, at times, full on fighting. Usually, all it takes to defuse these situations is a simple “behave yourselves in front of grandma!” For the times when that doesn’t suffice, however, SkyMall has what you need to calm everyone down and reach an amicable resolution of any conflict. This Thanksgiving, don’t going into the familial battlefield without a Plush Turkey Referee Hat. Read more
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Week is one of the cheapest of the year at hotels across the country. As most people stay close to home or with family during the holiday, rates dip to fill up rooms. So this year, why not shake things up and take a trip over Turkey Day? With prices these low – and all at 4-star hotels – there’s no reason not to get away.
New York City has plenty of draws for a Thanksgiving visit, from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to fantastic sales on Black Friday. 4-star hotels in the Big Apple offer low rates during the week, like the trendy Stay Hotel, located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, for as little at $187 per night when you stay three nights. Rates at the Stay go up to $399 per night in December, which means you’ll be saving over 50 percent. Or, stay at the 4.5-star W New York Downtown Hotel, one of the most stylish hotel brands in the world, for an incredible $197 per night – a savings of $250 on rates earlier in the fall (in fact, these rates at the W hold on many nights through mid-December, and go up to just $213 per night over Christmas week). Read more
There will be more than 38 million auto travelers on the road this Thanksgiving weekend, predicts AAA, and if you and your kids plan to be among them, it’s not too late to change your mind and stay home.
Seriously, we both know that’s probably not an option this weekend. That being the case, let’s look on the bright side: Sure, a gallon of regular unleaded will average about $3.39 – 50 cents more than this time last year, confirm our friends at AAA – but that’s better than the nearly four bucks per gallon you paid in May. If you want to try your luck at gaming gas prices a little this weekend, the free GPS-driven AAA TripTik Mobile app for Droids and iPhones will let you compare gas prices, pull up maps, and hear verbal commands about when to turn, should you not already have a talking GPS device in your vehicle.
If it’s been a little while since you’ve hit the road with the brood during a holiday weekend, here are a few more things to keep in mind:
The holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably hoping you won’t have to pay an arm and a turkey leg to get home to celebrate. Though most airline industry experts’ analysis is pointing to holiday fares that average about 6 to 10 percent more this year than last, there are still plentiful ways to snag a reasonable rate – just check out these 10 tips for booking holiday flights.
So why the “bah humbug” uptick in costs? With oil prices on the rise, airlines are consolidating flights, cutting unprofitable routes, and using smaller planes, but there still remains a discernible surge in flyer demand. Once-reluctant travelers who may have skipped out on flights home for the holidays in years past just aren’t willing to hold off on Aunt Edna’s homemade pumpkin pie another year. And though travelers have proven eager to get back in the air, the copious number of routes that have been grounded over the last couple of years (as much as 15 percent of capacity has been cut since 2008, in response to the economic crisis) translates to fewer seats for sale – and less desperation on behalf of the airlines to fill them.
This Thanksgiving, forgo the family tradition of turkey, stuffing, sweaters, and shopping, and instead relax poolside on the Norwegian Dawn as it sails through the emerald waters of the Southern Caribbean. Rates for the nine-night cruise start at just $429, a 73 percent discount off rack rates, and include a free $50 onboard credit per cabin as well as a free bottle of wine on select categories! The Dawn will set sail from Miami on November 19 before calling to port in five locales, including Samana, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Antigua; Barbados; and Saint Kitts – all of which boast stunning natural beauty. Travelers will then have two carefree days at sea before returning to Miami.
THE VALUE: The starting rate of $429 comes out to just $48 per night!
THE CATCH: Airfare to Miami not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your cabin onboard the Norwegian Dawn, visit www.vacationstogo.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great rates on flights to Miami, Florida.
If you’re planning a winter getaway, take advantage of these new low domestic fares while everyone else is distracted by Thanksgiving plans (and food). As travelers are scrambling to fly home to visit relatives, American Airlines and Southwest have “secretly” launched twin fare sales for non-holiday travel starting from just $58 each way! Both of these near system-wide domestic sales are valid for travel through February 9, 2010 but must be booked by November 30!
When it comes to Thanksgiving, what’s not to love? It means time off from work, a chance to catch up with relatives, and of course, ridiculous amounts of delicious food (that someone else prepared). However, if Thanksgiving is scheduled at your house this year, the warm holiday glow may not be shining as bright. Before you start firing up the oven there’s another tempting option: This 7-night cruise aboard the brand new Carnival Dream will have you relaxing on a beach in the Bahamas instead of packaging up leftovers and cleaning dishes. With rates starting as low as $499, that guilt about ditching the in-laws will disappear the moment you step on the ship.
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