Last-Minute Deals to Get You Home for Thanksgiving Gallery
October 24, 2017
You put it off way too long. Now what?
Last-Minute Deals to Get You Home for Thanksgiving
Nobody does the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes the way Mom does, and Uncle Dave’s pumpkin pie with the perfect ratio of spices has everyone diving in. But Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you haven’t booked your travel yet. Lots of people are traveling that week, of course, so great prices are hard to come by, but we’ve rounded up a few decent deals to get you home just in time for Cousin Mary’s saga about her most recent failed marriage.
We have a grab bag of deals to popular destinations in late November on major airlines as well as options for train and bus travel. If you can’t find your departure city or hometown, check out sites like Trivago, Google Flights, Kayak, or Expedia. You might consider driving to a larger city to save some money on airfare or being flexible with your dates. If you can travel on Thanksgiving Day, for instance, you can save a lot.
And, remember that a great deal might not be so great if you have to pay to check a bag — or if there are extra fees to get a snack and book the seat you want, which can add $50 or more to the base fare. Always read the rules on carry-ons, checked bags, online check-in, and seat selection. You don’t want a surprise at the gate.
Book soon and don’t forget to pack some comfortable pants with a drawstring waist. You’re going to want to eat a lot once you’re home after snagging one of these last-minute Thanksgiving deals.
Miami, Fla. (By Air)
Your family lives in Miami? Lucky you. Not only do you need some sun this time of year, Google Flights has some great deals to Miami in late November. Be flexible with your dates and it could become a really stellar deal. Frontier, American, and United all have flights from about $75-$140 from the Midwest.
San Francisco, Calif. (By Air)
People in the Midwest may be friendly, but the weather sure isn’t this time of year. Good thing you’re from San Francisco and can get home to enjoy turkey with all the trimmings with a pleasant view of the bay. Check out these Google Flights deals for late November ranging from about $115-$200 on United, Virgin, and American.
Albuquerque, N.M. to Phoenix, Ariz. (By Air)
You grew up in the desert Southwest and you didn’t stray too far from home. If you want to go from Albuquerque to Phoenix and you really hate to drive, Southwest Airlines has a good deal for you for Thanksgiving. Leave on Nov. 22 at 5 a.m. for around $126 and return at 6 a.m. on Nov. 26 for only $81. With Southwest, you don’t have to worry about added fees — each ticketed passenger is allowed two checked bags.
Chicago, Ill. or Dallas, Texas to New York, N.Y. (By Air)
If you haven’t been home to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person for a few years and you’re also craving a slice of the best pizza on the Eastern Seaboard (which you may have to drive into New Jersey for), Southwest has some “Wanna Get Away” fares for about $230 each way from Chicago and from Dallas. The flights leave the day before Thanksgiving and return after a weekend stay in the Big Apple.
Des Moines, Iowa to Atlanta, Ga. (By Air)
Midwest getting you down? If you have a little extra time and can come back on Nov. 27, you can fly from Des Moines, Iowa, to Atlanta non-stop on Nov. 22 for $344 round-trip on Delta Airlines.
Houston, Texas to Detroit, Mich. (By Air)
You need to get home to watch your beloved Detroit Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving Day. Delta Airlines has you covered with a good deal on an economy ticket if you’re a Houstonian. You can leave on Nov. 22 and return on Nov. 25 for $319. That’s round-trip and non-stop.
Kansas City, Mo., to Los Angeles, Calif. (By Air)
If you miss the beach, sun, and maybe a fish taco — or two, or five — in your native Los Angeles, Spirit Airlines has a round-trip, non-stop flight from Kansas City, Mo., to LAX on Nov. 22, returning Nov. 26, for about $386. Keep in mind that you have to pay extra for almost everything on Spirit, including all checked bags. Check one bag, take only a purse or small pack as a carryon, and have a snack before you board your flight.
Miami, Fla. to Denver, Colo. (By Air)
The Mile High City is calling you home for Thanksgiving. If you’re a night owl who lives in Miami, you can fly non-stop on Frontier Airlines at 10:45 p.m. on Nov. 22. There’s a return flight on Nov. 26, also non-stop, that will get you back to Miami late at night. The total price is around $397. Frontier charges a fee for checked bags and allows only a small carryon, such as a purse or laptop bag.
New Orleans, La. to Cincinnati, Ohio (By Air)
A good one for those who don’t mind traveling on Turkey Day and still want to have enough time to help make the fountain-of-youth sweet potatoes. Delta has a 7:25 a.m. flight on Nov. 23 and a return one at 6 a.m. on Nov. 26 for $353 round-trip. There’s a short layover on both flights.
Portland, Ore. to San Diego, Calif. (By Air)
Here’s a pretty good one for those who don’t mind getting up early to catch a flight to lovely San Diego. Alaska Airlines has a 6:25 a.m. flight on Nov. 22 from Portland to San Diego with a 6:30 a.m. return on Nov. 25 for $450 round-trip.
Raleigh, N.C. to Las Vegas, Nev. (By Air)
Another good one for those who are flexible and don’t mind traveling at odd hours. Frontier will take you from Raleigh to Las Vegas at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 22 and bring you back on 11:25 p.m. on Nov. 26 for about $327. There’s a fee for checked bags.
Washington, D.C. to Boston, Mass. (By Air)
The crispness in the air has you dreaming of your favorite spot for clam chowder in your hometown of Boston. If you’re willing to fly home on Thanksgiving Day, you can save a lot of money. United, for instance, has a non-stop, round-trip flight from the nation’s capital to Boston for around $195 leaving on Nov. 23 and returning Nov. 26 in the morning. The basic economy fare on United limits you to one small personal item, such as a purse. You must check all other bags for a fee.
Chicago, Ill. to Milwaukee, Wis. (By Train)
Traveling by rail gives you more legroom, allows you a nice view out the window and, best of all, saves you money. Amtrak has a 15 percent discount for students of ages 13 to 25. If you go to college in Chicago, for instance, and want to head home to Milwaukee, you can get a reserved coach seat for around $25. That puts you in Milwaukee in a little over an hour the morning before Thanksgiving Day and gets you back in Chicago on Nov. 26, also for around $25. Pack some plastic food containers so you can take home Thanksgiving leftovers from the parental units.
Memphis to Nashville, Tenn. (By Bus)
Got a big family and need to cut travel costs? Kids ages 2 to 16 get 20 percent off their full Greyhound fare when they travel with someone 17 or older. Those who live in Memphis, Tenn., who want to go to Nashville, for example, can travel the morning of Nov. 22 and be there in about four hours. The economy fare is $33 for adults. Come back on Nov. 25 or Nov. 26 for $22. There’s free Wi-Fi on Greyhound buses, and the family can stretch out a bit more than on a plane. Don’t forget to try the Nashville Hot Chicken once you’re there!
Boston, Mass. to Various Destinations (By Car)
For those who don’t have a car or simply like having some companionship on the road, Boston University (one of our top 10 best colleges for food) has a ride-share program. Like-minded travelers who are heading in the same direction at roughly the same time can sign up; you’ll need a BU username and Kerberos password to get into the database. Sharing a ride not only cuts costs, it also helps reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re not sure about going home for the long weekend, however, you can also check out these 10 easy Thanksgiving getaways.