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Travel
Thanksgiving 2017 travel trends and tips
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Thanksgiving 2017 travel trends and tips

Thanksgiving - By the Numbers

Thanksgiving 2017 travel trends and tips

Whether your Thanksgiving travel plans involve domestic destinations or an international getaway, understanding holiday travel trends for 2017 can help you maximize your Thanksgiving travel budget and minimize stress.

Here are the key travel trends for Thanksgiving, including best and worst places to visit, busiest airports and a look at gas prices for those whose Thanksgiving travel plans includes hitting the road.
 
Thanksgiving 2017 travel trend watch
 
Top trending destinations for Thanksgiving 2017: According to a report by the Points Guy, Google Flights data determined the following as the trending destinations for Thanksgiving in 2017.
 
In the U.S.:

Honolulu, Hawaii
Tucson, Ariz.
Burbank, Calif.
Providence, R.I.
Fairbanks, Alaska
 
International:

Brussels, Belgium
Rome, Italy
Nice, France
Malaga, Spain
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
 
The most wallet-friendly places to visit this Thanksgiving

GOBankingRates used cost of hotels, holiday flights, food, drinks, transportation and entertainment to come up with the most expensive places you could travel for Thanksgiving this year. One of the priciest to visit at Thanksgiving was Cape Town, South Africa. Winter for us is summer in South Africa, and it costs $1,341 to fly from Los Angeles to Cape Town during Thanksgiving, more than any other city on the GOBankingRates list. The average daily cost of meals came in at $48, with the daily drink cost average at $24.

GOBankingRates had much better news at the other end of the spectrum. It listed these three among its most affordable places to visit during Thanksgiving.

  • Seattle: Holiday flights to Seattle are cheaper than to most other cities in the rankings and the average nightly hotel rate during Thanksgiving is $142.
  • Chicago: You’ll be rewarded for braving chilly temperatures with low average nightly hotel rates of $87 during Thanksgiving. And holiday flights to Chicago are among the cheapest in the rankings.
  • San Francisco: The average nightly rate for a hotel during both Thanksgiving and Christmas is $121 and within San Francisco, transportation costs are among the lowest in the rankings and you can see the city’s most popular tourist attractions for free.

KAYAK also ranked "wallet-friendly" Thanksgiving destinations for 2017 using its billions of annual search queries, coming up with these Top 10: Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Calgary and Seattle.
 
Highest and lowest gas costs

If your Thanksgiving travel plans include driving, you’ll want to know the gas price trends.

As of Nov. 7, 2017, the national gas price range was $2.21 per gallon to $3.22 per gallon, according to AAA.

Gas Buddy lets you see gas prices around the country at a glance with a color-coded map indicating the average price for regular unleaded gasoline.

Generally, you'd pay the least for gas in Texas, Midwest states including Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Virginia and Oklahoma and Southeastern states including the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia (Florida is slightly higher.) As you make your way into Northern, Northwestern and Pacific Northwest states you'll encounter the highest gas prices, with California topping the list to the West.

If you're concerned that gas costs will derail your travel budget, check the AAA website a few days before Thanksgiving to get a prediction on how gas prices will fare during 2017 Thanksgiving peak car travel days.

Top 10 busiest airports Thanksgiving 2017

Whether hustle and bustle is your thing or you're looking for an excuse to stay out of the fray, these 10 airports will be the busiest in the U.S. come Thanksgiving, according to Google Flights:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Honolulu
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco

 
Travel tips Thanksgiving 2017
 
When to book: KAYAK's annual Holiday Hacker Guide has a hard and fast rule for Thanksgiving fliers: Avoid flying the Sunday after Thanksgiving. KAYAK data pegs that day as one of the most expensive departure dates.

KAYAK also shared the best days to fly for the price-conscious, based on 2016 data. The best 2016 flight deals were for those who could depart and fly back on Thanksgiving day (median price $163 in 2016) or Black Friday ($261), leave the Monday before Thanksgiving and return Thanksgiving day or Black Friday ($286 and $300) or leave the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and return Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday ($296 and $299.)

Book your flight ahead of the price increases. While variances are inevitable, a good rule of thumb is to expect fares to increase 21, 14 and again 7 days before your desired departure date, according to Google Flights.
 
Plan your road trip costs: To make sure you'll still have money left over for Black Friday, or to avoid arguments with your cheapskate co-travelers, use Gas Buddy's trip cost calculator to plan how much you'll spend getting to Thanksgiving get-togethers.
 
Consider getting away instead of going home. The Points Guy blogger reported 5 top holiday tips from the Google flights team, and this was both the most radical and most sensible idea. If you won't be drummed out of the family over your choice, consider a brief vacation instead of going to a traditional Thanksgiving gathering.

If you can’t afford a high-cost Thanksgiving travel destination, consider traveling to a less popular destination over Thanksgiving week. The Points Guy says that in some cases, travelers can visit international destinations for less than domestic fares during the holiday season.

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  • We may have found a different use for the oxygen mask on airplanes. The New York Post says, on a flight from Dubai to Amsterdam, a man wouldn't stop, to put it nicely, decompressing his cabin. He was passing gas, repeatedly, despite the men who had the bad luck to be sitting next to him telling him to stop. It was apparently bad enough that they got into a fight and the plane made an emergency landing. They were kicked off the plane along with two women who are completely baffled, because they say they don't even know the men. You can read more about the story here.
  • The White House on Monday signaled that President Donald Trump is willing to back at least one bipartisan measure to strengthen the national instant check system for those who buy firearms, as Democrats in the House and Senate continued to argue that action by the Congress on gun violence is long overdue. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In a written statement sent to reporters, Sanders said the President spoke to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Friday; the Texas Republican has a bipartisan bill with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), which would force states and federal agencies to submit more information into the instant gun check system. Our churches and schools should be refuges where children and parents feel secure. Many of these shootings can be prevented. There's no reason not to advance #FixNICS to help https://t.co/0JpZDiLPOr — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) February 15, 2018 Interesting morning. Two quick thoughts: 1/ Trump's support for the FixNICS Act, my bill with @JohnCornyn, is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly. 2/ No one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic. — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 19, 2018 After a mass shooting last November in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 25 people died, the Air Force acknowledged that the killer – who received a ‘bad conduct’ discharge from the military – should not have been able to buy guns, but those records were never placed in the instant check system. “For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in November when he introduced this bipartisan gun measure.” Democrats had hoped there would be action on that measure – just like they had hoped there would have been action to ban “bump stocks” after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, action on the “No Fly, No Buy” measure after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, and then the “FixNics” bill after the Texas shooting. I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America's streets. #Orlando pic.twitter.com/ibKQE2PpqF — Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 14, 2016 Last week’s shooting in Florida simply put all of those requests for legislation to deal with guns on repeat for Democrats. “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). “And so, I’m asking – no, demanding – we take action now.” Democrats would certainly like to do much more than the ‘FixNics’ bill, or banning bump stocks, as other ideas have popped up in recent days, like not allowing anyone under age 21 to buy weapons like an AR-15. But as the President returned to Washington on Monday evening from a long weekend at his Florida retreat, it wasn’t clear if his support for one bipartisan plan would actually mean action – as GOP leaders have not put such measures on the fast track to a vote in the House and Senate. On Sunday, when the President met with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Florida, the two men discussed a series of issues, including “the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida.” The White House statement on their meeting did not characterize whether legislative action was discussed. No action will happen on anything gun-related this week – as the Congress won’t be back on Capitol Hill for votes until February 26.
  • No one’s counting their chickens just yet, but there’s hope among some Oklahoma lawmakers that a new budget proposal might be able to overcome the (thus far) insurmountable barrier of a 75-percent supermajority. There’s no handy nickname yet for the plan, which includes modifications to many of the elements of the “Step Up Oklahoma” proposal which went down to defeat last week in the House. But some lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that this time, they’ve got a plan that can actually pass. The question now becomes: Will the GOP House leadership bring it to the floor for a vote? Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) tells KRMG that longtime State Auditor Gary Jones was a key architect of the new proposal. Jones, a candidate for Governor, also has GOP street cred, as he’s the longest-serving state party chairman in Oklahoma history. The plan has bipartisan support; indeed, Proctor said Friday, he believes all 28 Democrats in the House will vote for it. “Democrats are ready to deliver every member of our caucus for it,” he told KRMG. “Republicans would need to bring 48 of their 72 members.” And while that’s not a slam dunk by any means, it’s an obtainable goal in the eyes of many lawmakers. The main bullet points: An increase to 5% for the first 36 months in the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells ($200 million) A 75-cent per pack tax on cigarettes ($130 million) A 6-cent increase per gallon on diesel, 3 cents per gallon on gasoline ($113 million) A cap on itemized deductions ($107 million) A hotel/motel tax ($50 million) Ball and Dice gaming reform ($22 million) Proctor said the plan would pay for a $5,000 annual pay raise for teachers, plus raises for other state employees who haven’t seen raises in a decade or more. “The way we see it, it’s a more fair. It spreads out the burden of the taxes not just on the working poor and middle income families, but across all economic spectrums. We believe it’s more fair, and equitable, and just,” Proctor said. “From what I’m hearing from friends on the other side of the aisle, I think if we put this plan on the board, it passes,” he added. “Now the question is gonna be: Are we going to be allowed to vote on it or not?”
  • A South Pacific cruise was interrupted by brawls apparently caused by a 23-member family who threw punches at other passengers, some of whom said they locked themselves in cabins to escape three days of violence. The Carnival Legend arrived in its home port of Melbourne on Saturday, a day after a family was offloaded in an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales in Australia. Police said they were investigating the incident and the operator apologized for the “disruptive behavior” by the group that was removed from the cruise liner. The “big Italian family” spent days attacking Australians aboard the ship, with people “getting strangled and punched up,” passenger Lisa Bolitho told reporters. “Very violent, they were full-on attacks,” she said. She also questioned the ship’s management, quoting the captain as saying, “‘What do you want me to do about it — throw them overboard?’” Cellphone video footage purportedly of the brawl on Friday shows security guards fighting and trying to separate passengers amid shouting and kicking.
  • A 30-year-old man died of injuries after a shooting in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood that police believe involved an Uber Eats driver. >> Watch the news report here Police say Ryan Thornton, 30, ordered food from the app to be delivered to the Concorde Condominium on Pharr Court South late Saturday. At 11:30 p.m., Thornton walked away from the delivery car with his order.  Police said words may have been exchanged, and that's when shots were fired from the delivery car. The driver took off in a white Volkswagen.  One of the people WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen spoke with lives close to where the incident happened. The person, who didn't want to be identified, said he heard five gunshots go off outside his apartment.  >> Read more trending news  Thorton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  If you’ve never heard of Uber Eats, it’s a smartphone app that many people use to order take-out. Uber told WSB-TV that it has a 'no weapons' policy for its drivers.  As the search for the driver continues, this shooting has those who use the app a little hesitant to continue to do so.  'Something needs to be done to further the safety of Uber Eats and make us feel safe,” said the man who lives near the scene. Uber said a statement that it is shocked and saddened by the news and is working with the Atlanta Police Department.