10 Most Popular International Thanksgiving Destinations

Sure, most people think of Thanksgiving as a family holiday. But did you know a lot of people use the long weekend as an excuse to get out of the country altogether? CheapAir.com has compiled the data and put together a list of the most searched international destinations.

Here’s where people are planning a Thanksgiving getaway for 2019.

10. Tokyo, Japan

tokyo skyline, japan
We’re not going to lie. Tokyo was a surprise for us. We assumed we’d see a lot of beach vacations (and those are well represented), but apparently a lot of Americans are looking to visit Japan’s capital over Turkey Day. Who knew? Tokyo remains one of the most traditional and modern of cities, and an exciting, vibrant place to experience. Weather in Tokyo in November promises brisk, clear days and cold nights. Bring layers!

9. Aruba

trees on beach at sunset in aruba
The island nation of Aruba lies in the southern Caribbean just off the coast of Venezuela and is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Beautiful coastlines and humid, beach weather in November make it an obvious choice for a late fall/Thanksgiving getaway. Aruba attracts honeymooners and retirees – be prepared to pay a premium for accommodation and dining.

8. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

colorful buildings on street in old puerto vallarta
Mexico makes three few appearances on our list, with Puerto Vallarta (which is having something of a renaissance right now) the first to appear. It’s always been popular with older Americans, but in recent years the more rustic charms of Sayulita about 22 miles north of Puerto Vallarta’s airport, has seen an influx of Millennial travelers. Visit PV if you like a more traditional, tony resort experience and Sayulita if ecotourism, mingling with locals and unplugging in a palapa are more your speed.

7. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

rock formations on coast of cabo san lucas, mexico
Cabo has been a favorite for Americans, with Californians especially succumbing to the city’s many charms. The stark, desert landscape that runs right up to the brilliant sea and the plethora of accommodation available no matter your budget are the main draws. Cabo has always had something of a laid-back party atmosphere, with bars and clubs open very late. If you’re looking for a beach destination close to home where you can celebrate Thanksgiving into the wee hours of the morning, Cabo might be just the ticket.

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

palapa and bridge on sandy beach
Situated at the very easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea, Punta Cana is famous for its many resorts and lavish, all-inclusive resorts. For this reason, Punta Cana is a popular winter destination, especially for visitors from the east coast. The “Coconut Coast” as its known, offers many activities for more active travelers – ziplining, kayaking and sailing can all be a part of your Thanksgiving plans.

5. Paris, France

arc de triumphe, paris
Oui, oui! There’s never a bad time to visit Paris, though if you eschew crowds November might be one of the best months to make the trip. You’ll avoid most tourist traffic and have the city to yourself. A word to the wise – you’re probably better off just dining like the French on the holiday itself. It might be difficult to find a restaurant willing to serve you a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. At least you can console yourself with the best French cuisine in the world.

4. Montego Bay, Jamaica

green hill on blue bay
Montego Bay joins the list as the most popular Caribbean destination for Thanksgiving. Jamaican hospitality is legendary, so it’s no wonder that a lot of Americans like to get a taste of that warmth and culture for the holidays. Montego Bay itself has great beaches and resorts, golf courses and coral reef diving in the protected waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park.

3. Rome, Italy

rome skyline at dusk, italy
Rome is one of those destinations we actively tout for most of the year (avoid the summer months, for all the usual reasons). In the summer Rome’s heat can be oppressive, but even late fall is a great time to experience good sightseeing weather and less crowded major sights. Rome is the Eternal City and we promise you’ll be eternally thrilled if you decide to visit at Thanksgiving!

2. London, England

london bridge at night
The second most popular international destination for Thanksgiving travel is London! Now if you decide to make this trip, we can confirm that you’ll be able to enjoy the city without the crush of tourists that summer and Christmas bring. You’ll also be graced with better prices on nearly everything – hotels, dining and flights! London weather is unpredictable with a light rain generally being the baseline. Bring a raincoat and umbrella and you’ll be good to go no matter the volume.

1. Cancun, Mexico

white beach with umbrellas on blue sea
The Mayan Riviera and all destinations therein are accessed through Cancun’s airport which is why we want to be clear that though Cancun is the number one destination for international travel at Thanksgiving, it is likely that visitors are coming to Cozumel (for the world-class snorkeling and SCUBA), Tulum (for the kickback cosmopolitanism), and Cancun itself which has best-in-class resorts and dining.

Next up we’ll be taking a look at the top international destinations for Christmas. In the meantime, check out our holiday flights report for more advice on when to buy and where to go. Check back soon!

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