As I write this, I am sitting in my 15th floor flat in Alexandria, Egypt. An inclement rainstorm has flooded the city for days, and the rain doesn’t look like it’s gonna stop.
One of the many great benefits of traveling abroad is the renewed sense of gratitude it gives you for the traditions of your home culture that you may not have appreciated before.
I confess that without the changing leaves, the crisp chill in the air, and the pumpkin-spiced everything everywhere, it hardly feels like Thanksgiving. Coupled with the fact that Egyptians have never even heard of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, I feel like Thanksgiving just passes me by often.
But there are occasions when I go out of my way to reenact this tradition with my kids, trying to help them keep alive the other half of their heritage that gets neglected in daily life.
This year, rather than spending Thanksgiving in a pumpkin-pie-&-turkey coma, passed out on the couch while the football game plays in the background, why not take the chance to leave your comfort zone and experience a little bit of life elsewhere? You never know how much gratitude it may give you for those people and traditions you’ve forgotten are so valuable in life year-by-year.
Here are just a few of the great deals you can find this Thanksgiving
Moevenpick Hotel München-Airport, 4 stars, $596 for 4 nights for two adults
Flight from NYC: $1700 average for 2 adults rountrip
Munich has one of the largest Christmas markets in the world, so why not shop Black Friday in style? Even if shopping isn’t your idea of fun this holiday, check out any of the other awesome things you can do in Munich.
How about visiting the birthplace of the Renaissance? Michaelangeo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Palazzo Pitti— all these can be found in Florence. Fall is also the season in Florence for opera, theater, and classical music concerts, as well.
Hotel Villa Carlotta, 4 stars, $300 for 4 nights for 2 adults
Flight: $1750 average from NYC for 2 adults roundtrip
If what you need is more of a calming, relaxing vacation and you prefer warmer climes, why not head south to Mexico. Temps in late November are in the 80’s, and that’s all the better for exploring Tulum’s Mayan ruins, gorgeous beaches, and world-famous sinkholes. Sure, there are typical all-inclusive resorts here, but for the full experience, why not book the weekend in one of the bungalows along the beachside where the cabanas have no phones and electricity is limited to a few hours a day.
Hotel Posada 06 Tulum, 3.5 Stars, $513 for 4 nights for 2 adults
Flight: Into nearby Cancun $1900 average for 2 adults from NYC roundtrip
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Maybe you want to stay a little closer to home. Why not try hopping the border to Vancouver? Sure, it’s much, much colder than, say, Mexico, but if skiing is your thing, this is the place for you! There are also hole-in-the-wall shops and hip cafes galore in this beautiful city.
Executive Airport Plaza, 3.5 Stars for $391 for 4 nights for 2 adults roundtrip
Flight: Average $900 from NYC, 2 adults