As temperatures drop and fall foliage is in full bloom, Thanksgiving travelers are headed to warmer climates and locales with swaying palm trees. Fly.com has revealed the top five searched travel destinations for Thanksgiving.
The study reveals many Americans are headed to warmer climates like Honolulu; Orlando, Fla.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to enjoy their Thanksgiving feasts. Data collected from more than 3 million Fly.com user searches reveals New York City is the top choice, where the average airfare of $349 has remained virtually unchanged since last year.
Low fall airfare is the force driving travelers to Honolulu, where fares are down 20 percent from last year. Travelers from California have been able to find flights to Hawaii for as little as $297 roundtrip, including taxes, and fares from the East Coast have been as low as $347 roundtrip, including taxes.
Rounding out the list are Las Vegas, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which were third, fourth, and fifth most popular, followed by Los Angeles, Cancun, Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas. All these cities, with the exception of Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, have seen increasing airfare this year.
"Savvy travelers know a good fare when they see one," said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager of Fly.com. "So it is not surprising to see that some Americans are traveling to destinations that take them away from past holiday traditions. More importantly, it is not too late to find a great deal on Thanksgiving travel."
Fly.com used data collected from more than 3 million user searches conducted between Aug. 16 and Sept. 27, 2012 and extracted domestic and international flights with departure dates Nov. 17 to Nov. 22 and return dates Nov. 23 to Dec. 1. Fly.com looked at the best airfare prices for each destination during the Thanksgiving travel period in 2011 and compared these with prices during the same timeframe in 2012.
Check out the 10 Top Thanksgiving Destinations slideshow to see how to celebrate Thanksgiving in these cities. From Thanksgiving parades and turkey trots to bountiful buffets, there is something for every traveler.
Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.