With such a long bucket list of places to experience, it’s not always easy for the travelin’ type to spend the money to go home for the smaller of the two winter holidays. Sure, you can “justify” it by reminding yourself that you love your mother, or that your aunt makes some killer stuffing, or that your father needs your help fixing that darned garage door.
But it still hurts to spend that precious travel fund on a trip home, especially as fares are projected to be the second highest ever for a travel season.
So here are my five ways to give thanks this thanksgiving – with or without family.
Be thankful for the family you have and bite the bullet
Ok, so I’m a momma’s boy. And while I won’t be making it home for Thanksgiving, I’m going to miss my family. If you are like me, then it’s worth it to drop that extra dough on a home visit.
So make sure that you are getting the best deals, and fly on the less expensive days: Nov. 22, 23, 25 and 30 and Dec. 20, 21, 24, 29, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Also, pick flights outside of the peak travel times of 8-10am and 5-7pm. You could save anywhere from ten to thirty percent!
If you have to go home, consider a day trip
My parents live in central New Jersey, and I always make it a point to fly into JFK and spend some time in New York City. It always energizes me, and makes me eager to get home to see momma.
Be thankful for friends and host an Orphan Thanksgiving
I actually love missing a Family Thanksgiving for a Friend Thanksgiving: You get all the merriment with less of the mess. Be the host, and put feelers out to friends and co-workers. There are bound to be folks staying home that have no ability or desire to cook for themselves. Be a hero and invite them over!
Be thankful for yourself and go shopping
Ok, this one is kind of a joke. As a professed Travel Addict and Stuff Agnostic, I get stressed out if I have too much stuff. I tend to move at least every 2 years, and it makes it a lot easier to be mobile if you don’t have to spend a month sorting through junk.
Nonetheless, there are some great deals out there, and if you are looking for travel tech gifts, adventure gear, or other travel-related items, now is the time.
Be thankful for others and volunteer
I’ll be traveling down to San Diego
as part of my Guru responsibilities, and will be volunteering alongside the GT.com staff. I have wanted to make volunteering at a homeless shelter, or something along those lines, a tradition of mine on Thanksgiving, and I am finally going to start.
Spend some time this holiday season doing something that has a deep impact on someone around you – a stranger or even a friend. Your community is your home, and as a traveler, home is wherever you are. So get out there and be the lovely shining human being that you are!
Nick Vivion is the Gay Travel Guru, and you can follow his travels right here or on Twitter: twitter.com/gaytravel.