7 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with a vacation
Like turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand. Yet while the image of a family driving to grandma's house for an annual feast, or a college student heading home for the holiday instantly springs to mind, a Thanksgiving vacation might be somewhat less familiar. Well, it's time to change that. If you've been thinking about trying something fresh and exciting this year, here are seven ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with a vacation.
Reconnect with family
If it's been too long since you spent quality time with a loved family member or a dear old friend, a Thanksgiving trip is the perfect moment to reconnect with them in person. And isn't that what the season is really all about? The cherished new memories you'll create over the holiday will last a lifetime.
Warm things up
Depending on where you live, the weather in late November can be chilly, if not downright cold. So if you're tired of bundling up on Thanksgiving, a holiday getaway to a warm destination is the best solution. For some, that might mean a trip to sunny Orlando, Florida, where November temperatures are in the upper 70s. Or you can heat things up even more by visiting the island nation of Singapore, where holiday temps are in the high 80s. You'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
Freshen up the menu
Although it's hard to stray away from a classic turkey dinner with all the fixings, traveling to a popular foodie destination over the holiday is a great way to discover some delicious new flavors and a host of amazing dishes. If you've ever wondered what a Cajun Thanksgiving meal tastes like, plan a trip to New Orleans and treat your family to an incredible Creole holiday feast. For a distinctly European Thanksgiving, let the Spanish chefs in San Sebastián prepare a traditional seafood banquet for you and your travel companions.
March to a parade
Thanksgiving without a parade is like Independence Day without fireworks, so give your family a holiday they'll never forget by visiting one of the many spectacular parade destinations across the country. Founded in 1924, the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is widely considered to be the biggest and brightest parade of its kind in the world. But the equally thrilling Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade in Charlotte, North Carolina, is pulling out all the stops this year as it celebrates its glorious 70th anniversary.
Harvest festivals are a wonderful part of the Thanksgiving tradition, and dozens of cities around the country are hosting them throughout November. In Tucson, visitors can join in the annual Heritage and Harvest Festival, which recognizes the historical contributions of Thomas Jefferson. Meanwhile in Detroit, there's the popular Turkey Trot foot race that draws upwards of 20,000 participants each year. And in Dallas, travelers can enjoy the Autumn at the Arboretum festival, which features a colorful pumpkin village made out of more than 75,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds.
Retreat to relaxation
Let's face it: not everyone sees eye to eye with each other on Thanksgiving. Despite our best efforts, the holiday can bring unnecessary stress. Avoid the annual holiday events by treating yourself to a relaxing Thanksgiving vacation at a luxurious spa or resort. For a blissful experience that you'll never forget, book a therapeutic massage package at Yaan Wellness in Tulum, Mexico, or splurge on a one-of-a-kind trip to the Acquaforte Thalasso Spa in Sardinia. The peace and calm you'll feel will be well worth it.
Thanksgiving is about expressing sincere gratitude for all the wonderful things in our lives, and the best way to acknowledge that is by helping someone less fortunate. If that sounds like something you'd like to try this year, then consider planning a volunteer vacation during the holiday as a way to give back to the world. To help you get started, the award-winning organization Volunteer Match currently has more than 180 Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities available around the country. Check their website to see where your help is needed most.
If you go
By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.
United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.
Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.
A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.
United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group
Fellow United team members –
Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.
Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.
Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.
Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."
Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.
To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.
Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.
UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
10Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
8Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
- The cabin recirculated air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes
We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
Watch our most popular videos
This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.