Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times to fly in America as hordes of people head home for some turkey, stuffing — maybe a pumpkin spice latte? — and good, old-fashioned family time. But Thanksgiving also happens to be one of the cheapest times to plan that international vacation you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’re willing to forego the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, traveling over this weekend happens to be one of the best-kept-secrets among travel experts. In fact, while more than 31 million travelers are expected to pass through U.S. airports over the holiday weekend, only 3.9 million are expected to travel internationally, Liana Corwin, a consumer travel expert at Hopper, told Travel + Leisure.
“Thanksgiving weekend is an ideal time for Americans to take their international trips as prices (and demand) are relatively low compared to the peak seasons of summer and Christmas,” Corwin said. “As American schools and businesses increasingly offer the Friday after Thanksgiving as a vacation day, the fall holiday has become an option for farther-flung travel.”
While not as many Americans plan to spend Thanksgiving abroad as at home, about 40 percent of the people searching for flights over the holiday weekend on Hopper are looking for an international destination, Corwin said.
If the idea of spending the holiday eating crepes in France rather than cornbread, or lounging in a bikini in Turks and Caicos rather than wrapped up in a sweater appeals to you, then check out some of the cheapest international places you can fly to for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, based on Hopper’s search data and major airports.
From New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport:
Madrid, Spain: Starting from $309 round trip
Copenhagen, Denmark: Starting from $313 round trip
Rome, Italy: Starting from $337 round trip
From Los Angeles’ LAX airport:
Vancouver, Canada: Starting from $194 round trip
Beijing, China: Starting from $311 round trip
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Starting from $372 round trip
From Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport:
San Jose, Costa Rica: Starting from $370 round trip
Barcelona, Spain: Starting from $453 round trip
Dublin, Ireland : Starting from $482 round trip