Thanksgiving Travel Ideas

 “Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t.” – Unknown

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many people are preparing for some kind of trip to see friends and family! Don’t let the stress of the holiday overwhelm you. Instead, use these tips to help you figure out where you want to go and how to transport the delicious food, if need be.

Thanksgiving Destinations

Whether you’re traveling to visit someone who lives in a specific area or your group is ready for a new experience, there are many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving if you decide not to host the big dinner at your own home! Check out some of these top travel destinations:

  • Chicago, Illinois – Take part in the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, where you can see baton twirling, marching bands, and balloon floats! Also, the shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, and diverse holiday entertainment that can be found at the Christkindlmarket is not to be missed!
  • Grapevine, Texas – When looking for holiday events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Grapevine is a great place to go! Thanksgiving weekend kicks off Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge, where you can experience snow showers, twinkling lights, gingerbread houses, enormous snowflakes, and uninterrupted time with your family at this 84-degree indoor water park! You can also check out the town celebration known as Christmas on Main, which is complete with Victorian-style buildings all dressed up for the holidays and also starts that weekend.
  • Washington, DC – If tradition continues, view the home to the turkeys pardoned by the President at Mount Vernon or enjoy fewer crowds at popular museums and monuments.
  • San Francisco, California – Check out the annual SF International Auto Show at Moscone Center, which opens on Thanksgiving Day or try Burritt Tavern or One Market for classic Thanksgiving fare.
  • Orlando, Florida – Use the long weekend to visit Walt Disney World! There are holiday-themed parades & events and you can also find traditional turkey dinners at on-property sit-down restaurants as well as turkey and stuffing at a variety of buffets
  • New York City, New York – For 87 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has delighted New Yorkers as well as the rest of the country. Each year, the super-sized balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and other performers seem to get better and better!
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – While some people might overlook Las Vegas as a Thanksgiving destination, others are realizing that a lot of restaurants in the city feature some very talented star chefs! Many of these restaurants will be doing it big for Thanksgiving, although some meals might or might not include turkey. Take a look at this Thanksgiving Menu 2013  at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay.

Once you’ve decided on one of many fantastic holiday locations, you can use Hertz NeverLost and the My Explore Hertz NeverLost Mobile Companion to both plan your trip, and guide you!

Watch this video to see an overview of how Hertz NeverLost can help make your trip go smoothly:


To learn about more holiday destinations, see: “10 Best Thanksgiving Destinations for 2013” and “Destinations cater to Thanksgiving travelers with recreations, family fun, gourmet food.”

Travel Friendly Food

If you plan on traveling to a Thanksgiving dinner and you were supposed to bring a few dishes with you, don’t fret, you can easily transport them without making a mess! Check out these suggestions:

  • Use towels – Lay a towel flat on the surface in the car where you’re going to put the food. Then, place the dishes on that towel and wrap more towels around the dishes so they can’t move around or bump into things. It’s very simple and effective and if you do happen to spill something, the towel is already there to prevent a mess in your car.
  • Utilize flat surfaces – Don’t be tempted to just put your dish in the back seat. Instead, place the food on the floorboard or in the trunk.
  • Wrap, Wrap, Wrap – Store liquids like soups in sauces in a container with a lid, and even after that, feel free to go a little crazy with plastic wrap.
  • Prepare certain things in advance – Waiting until the last minute to prepare food isn’t a good idea to begin with. Gravy, especially, is more difficult to transport right after it’s made, when it is hot. Instead, consider making it ahead of time and cooling it in the refrigerator. That way, the texture will be more gelatinous and less likely to spill. Store with a lid and plastic wrap and after you reach your destination, it will be just as good when you re-heat it!
  • Choose your dish wisely – If you have a choice of what to bring, quickly volunteer for the simple things. Good examples would be rolls, stuffing, or drinks.
  • Bring a casserole – Casseroles can be prepared ahead of time and often in pans with covers. These are easy to transport and feed a crowd!
  • Dessert – There are so many dessert options, that you can easily choose to bring something that is easy to take with you in the car. Pie, cupcakes, brownies and cookies are all good options!
  • Drive safely – Now that you have everything prepared and ready for the ride, it is time to be a little cautious! Do your best not to forget that you have food in your car and if you have passengers, make sure they take some responsibility in looking after the dishes.

For more details on these tips, see: “8 Tips For Making Thanksgiving Food Travel Friendly.”

Watch this video for a cute and easy Thanksgiving dessert idea:


You still have some time to plan your Thanksgiving holiday, so I hope these travel ideas can be helpful! Also, don’t forget to appreciate all that you have in your life right now 🙂

Also, if you show us where you’re traveling for the fall holidays, you could win a $25 gift card! Good luck, be safe, and have fun!

Explore America Holiday

Click here for details!

Melissa Woodring

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