Magazine article Newsweek

Travel: Fly Away on Turkey Day

Magazine article Newsweek

Travel: Fly Away on Turkey Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Ramin Setoodeh (With Paul Tolme)

A few Novembers ago, Brooks Cowles passed on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner--and took his wife and two boys to the Bahamas instead. They snorkeled in warm waters and watched the sun set over the beach from hammocks. On Thanksgiving Day, rather than reach for the stuffing or cranberry sauce, they feasted on lobster cooked over an open fire and sipped island rum. "I've got wonderful pictures," says Cowles, 45, a lawyer from Georgia.

With long lines at the airport, travelers know the burden of spending Thanksgiving with the folks. Now more people are using the holiday to flee for a long weekend--since international airports are less crowded and "exotic destinations have fairly decent availability and reasonable rates," says Geoff Silvers, director of merchandising at Orbitz.com . A growing number of low-cost carriers and travel packages are also making it easier to plan a nontraditional Thanksgiving celebration.

Domestically, Las Vegas has become a big hit. Expedia.com 's Ultra-Hip Thanksgiving Trip package starts at $612 per person, with a Creole dinner, tickets to Cirque du Soleil and a four-night stay at the Palms Casino Resort. The Bellagio (bellagio.com ) offers rooms at $299 a night, and turkey is served in nine of its restaurants--including the buffet ($38 per person for dinner).

If you want to explore the great outdoors, try a hillside resort. The Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Wyoming ($495 per night; fourseasons. …

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