7 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Vacation - United Hub
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7 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with a vacation

By Matt Chernov, October 30, 2017

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.

Palm trees in Orlando, Florida

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.

Snoopy float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

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.

Get festive

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.

Massage table in a hut on a beach

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.

Helping others

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

No matter where or how you decide to spend Thanksgiving, visit united.com or use the United app to make your holiday travel plans.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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