Travel-Themed Thanksgiving: Fun Ideas to Try

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.

Eckhart Tolle

Is Thanksgiving the same for you year after year? Family drama, meat sweats from overindulging, football, more family drama? Why not add that extra special sauce to your holiday this year and I’m not talking about your grandma’s secret gravy recipe. I’m talking TRAVEL. No, you don’t have to travel with your entire family (go for it if you want, but that probably won’t be as relaxing as you think). I’ve brainstormed a few fun ideas to add a twist to your foodie holiday that will breathe some life and excitement back into it for everyone involved. These are just a few of the ideas that popped into my head, but let me know if you think of others and I’ll feature them in another post!

Potluck with International Twists on Traditional Dishes

How cool would it be to have everyone who is attending your Thanksgiving day meal bring an international dish with them? Instead of your regular turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry jam, and mashed potatoes, why not try something from around the world. If you don’t feel like finding your own recipe, I wrote a post last year on international twists on traditional turkey day dishes. Obviously, you’re not limited to those options, but they look delicious to me.

Another bonus of doing this is you probably will have much better luck in the grocery store if you’re buying non-traditional items around this holiday. Everything sells out so quickly that you’ll probably be excited to not have to fight over certain items and spices.

Cocktails and Booze Inspired by Your Favorite Travels

Which country was your favorite to visit? Did you enjoy a ridiculously refreshing drink on a hot day? Maybe you had the best hot chocolate of your life during a winter trip. Either way, relive your travels by creating cocktails or drinks common in other countries. Some examples are whiskey from Scotland, pisco from Peru, horchata from Spain, or rum from Jamaica to name just a few.

If you’re more of a beer person, try to find your favorite beers from your travels at a local distributor. There are almost always tons of international beers to choose from. Maybe you want to start small? Try adding a few spices to turn a regular drink into something extra. Hot chocolate can be transformed into Mexican hot chocolate by using different chocolate or by adding chili and cinnamon! Make up your own twists or find recipes to try with everyone. No matter what you do, it’ll be a great time.

Travel-Themed Board Games or Trivia

Instead of the regular games (looking at you Monopoly) play a travel-themed board game this year! There are tons of options that will cater to every type of traveler. Test your global knowledge with Passport to Culture or explore with Trekking the National Parks or get mysterious with Guess in 10 Cities Around the World.

You can even take it a step further with food-themed games. Sushi Go, Foodies, and Let Them Eat Cake will let you celebrate the food holiday with even more food. BUT… what if you could take it a step further? Travel to the fantasy realms in games like Werewolf or travel through time with Time Agent. Don’t worry, if you want to keep it traditional, why not try one of the travel-themed Monopoly games?

Show Off Your Town and Explore Locally

Have people visiting from out of town who haven’t explored where you live? Walk off the turkey wobbles by giving them a tour of your town. Visit your favorite shops, brush up on some local history to share, and grab snacks or drinks at your favorite places. One of my favorite things to do is show off where I live. When people think of Lancaster, they’ve either never heard of it or think it’s mostly comprised of the Amish. I love taking everyone to all of the amazing places my town has to offer. Giving friends and family a tour is also a ton of fun. It allows you to show off what you love but it also makes for a great family experience.

If your family knows your town well, why not explore nearby places together. You never know what new or established places you’re missing until you travel a little further than you previously did. Make a day trip of it or spend an hour somewhere new. You’ll get to spend the time with family and add more places to your list of awesome places to explore.

Make Your Thanksgiving Celebration Travel Themed

No one really goes full decoration crazy like people do for Halloween and Christmas. Some people put out a few fall things, but there’s a missed opportunity here. You can go fully turkey decor themed or you could pick a travel theme and run wild. I’m talking placemats, napkins, centerpieces, swap out your kitchen towels, and break out the turkey-shaped party hats. Pick a country for your theme or bring in the whole world. There are endless things you could do.

Go wild and photoshop turkeys into your favorite travel pictures and print them out as decor. As long as you have fun with it, then everyone else will too. Why not incorporate ALL of these ideas into one massive Thanksgiving ex-travel-ganza? You can use that name too. I’m proud I came up with that out of nowhere.

Make Your Own Scavenger Hunt

Stores shut down on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you have to be trapped inside. In fact, if you have family visiting…please don’t trap yourself inside with them unless you’re one of the rare families that never get mad at each other or need personal space…

ANYWAY, compete against members of your family or in teams or work together on a scavenger hunt. You’ll get to put together fun activities and places/monuments/objects to find around town. It’s definitely a unique way to get out of the house do something fun together while staying active. Most Thanksgivings are very sedentary, so it’ll give a brand new twist to your holiday that just might become a tradition.

7 thoughts on “Travel-Themed Thanksgiving: Fun Ideas to Try

  1. It’s not travel related, but one year the husband and I made all hors d’oeuvres for Thanksgiving. Each one was based on one of the traditional foods served at a Thanksgiving meal. It was fun. These are some fun ideas!


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