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Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad

by Erich Martin

Nov 27, 2019

Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Traveling around the holidays, with or without children, can always wind up being a slog. Depending on where you are going, there is poor weather to consider, huge upticks in passenger volume and the added stresses of celebrating a holiday away from home.


Thanksgiving is easier than the gift-giving holidays like Christmas and Hanukah in some ways, but more difficult in others. Travel abroad does not need to wreak havoc on your holiday plans.


No other countries celebrate Thanksgiving when we do, but certain countries, like Canada, Germany and South Korea, still celebrate Thanksgiving-esque holidays throughout fall. Whether you travel with the entire extended family or keep it low-key, it is possible to have a nice Thanksgiving at the end of November, no matter where you are.


The obvious point to make when different countries celebrate similar holidays at different times is restaurants will typically be wide open. Back home, it might be tough to find dinner reservations for your family on Thanksgiving. What restaurants are open on the date surely book up months in advance. When you are out of the country, it should be much easier to find a reservation to accommodate the entire family. This also provides a great opportunity to sample different cuisines instead of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.


The kinds of food and deals available will vary wildly depending where you venture for the holiday. For instance, Canada will likely have some foods similar to traditional American Thanksgiving. Europe, Latin America and Asia will probably stray a little further from the norm, and these offer great alternatives.


Picky-eating kids will probably have a tough time adapting to the idea of a big holiday meal abroad, especially if you travel somewhere with a more exotic cuisine. In these cases, ordering something off a child-friendly menu can help assuage the struggle of feeding picky kids.


There is another option available to families who don’t easily shy away from a little bit of work. Many hotels offering full suites include kitchen areas. With a little research, it is possible to source everything you need from local markets. Turn it into a full family activity and host Thanksgiving in your hotel suite for your traveling companions.


This also makes it easier to accommodate picky eaters, as you can just pick something up the kids will eat. This will also create lifetime memories of the time the family made a whole Thanksgiving dinner in a hotel room while on vacation.


It can be tough to step away from the family at home for a major holiday, but the rewards, like uncrowded restaurants and one-of-a-kind memories, might just outweigh them all.


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