Thanksgiving Travel Tips And Ideas: How To Travel Best This Turkey Week

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If Thanksgiving travel is in your near future, then you don’t need my Thanksgiving menu and Printables. Instead, you need Thanksgiving travel tips to get you to your out of town gathering or Thanksgiving travel ideas to get away from it all.  Whether carrying your famous pecan pie cross country or finding a hideaway resort, I’ve got some Thanksgiving travel hacks for you!

close up of Thanksgiving travel road

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

We’re obsessed with enjoying family travel to the fullest, so I hope you find these Thanksgiving travel tips very useful:

Take the scenic route

The best advice I can give when traveling for Thanksgiving festivities with those you love… stay put until the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The day after Thanksgiving is second in line to the busiest ever and the Sunday after Thanksgiving will be pretty crazy also.  It’s pretty easy to find an alternative route rather than driving the interstate like everyone else.  Although the hubs isn’t a fan like I am, I call these the “scenic routes” and I find them so much more interesting anyway.

Ship ahead

No you can’t put your kiddos in a box, but you can ship ahead many things that need to go to Grandma’s house that would be too cumbersome to travel with.  Simply weigh out the pros and cons for items that may be easier to get there before you do (especially for Thanksgiving travel by plane or train)!

Pack by outfit 

There’s nothing more frustrating than searching for specific items in a neatly packed suitcase once you make it to your Thanksgiving destination.  When planning your Thanksgiving trip, separate your outfits by ziploc bags or by rolling the outfits up together.  Better yet, use compression travel cubes to keep each days essentials separate and in the smallest area possible.

Thanksgiving Travel Ideas

If your Thanksgiving travel plans include a Thanksgiving week or weekend getaway instead of the traditional turkey day, here are a few ideas.  These trip ideas would be lovely any time of the year, but why not when the weather is at its best!

Secluded cabin in the woods

I don’t know about you, but relaxing in a hidden cabin along the Appalachian Mountains during the glorious fall season is a dream on repeat around here.  The best mountain cabins in my opinion would fall somewhere between Dahlonega Georgia, Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Cades Cove, Tennessee.  Yes, you can’t get any more “Hallmark movie” vibes than these cozy little mountain towns.

Don’t miss the adorably interesting town of Sautee, Georgia, near Dahlonega, and Ashville, North Carolina, near Hendersonville – if you choose to leave your cabin in the woods!

Create an outdoor adventure

If you’d rather get out and about outdoors, stay near the Great Smoky National Park, add the REI National Parks app to your phone and plan your visit for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure.  The app will give you data on the different hiking trails and alert you to important info, natural features, and directions to get there!

view of Smoky Mountains Thanksgiving travel
The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall, Heather Paul, cc


Secluded beach resort

You love the best weekend getaways in the mountains, but sometimes only the beach will heal what ails your busy heart! Here are a secluded beach ideas that will make you think you’re lounging on a tropical island without ever using your passport:

Last minute travel to the barrier isle of St. Simons Island, Georgia is just fine because this laid back beach town has been a favorite of the rich and famous since the 1800s.  Full of historic charm, there are more things to do on St Simons Island for families than there are hours in the day.  Many golf pros on the PGA tour call this quaint island home and it’s a perfect idea for secluded luxury!

Oh, the things to do in Islamorada Florida Keys will have you booking your trip before you can finish this paragraph.  Our family felt completely hidden away from the rest of the world’s cares when we visited recently.  It was our absolute favorite stop on our Florida Beaches tour!

Where is Your Thanksgiving travel taking you this year?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️


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