I'm a Canadian currently in Toronto, and I'm considering going to California (either San Fransisco or LA) or perhaps Las Vegas. Is there a particular travel plan which would reduce any travel issues such as days in the weekend that are better or worse for flying? Are large cities in California going to have hotel availability booking this late (mid November)? There would be two people traveling (myself and my wife) and we will be flying.

I know that Thanksgiving is a massive holiday in the US, with the tales of Black Friday shopping and lines-ups at airports. I've been to the US plenty of times and generally know what traveling to the US from Canada is like.

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    Hi and welcome to Travel.SE. Could you make your question a bit clearer, perhaps, it's a bit hard to tell what you're after? Just asking for tips isn't exactly what this site is about (faq), we try to provide definitive answers, and not start up discussions. What travel issues are you talking about - traffic? Which city, this makes a difference - some have trains, metro, buses etc.
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 10, 2011 at 3:52
  • What are these 'travel issues' you speak of? Please clarify. Nov 10, 2011 at 10:56
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    The airport is going to be the biggest problem as a lot of Americans travel domestically to be with their families around Christmas. A lot of places will be closed for the holiday on Thursday too, but not all of them and many won't even be closed for the whole day.
    – JohnFx
    Nov 10, 2011 at 12:54
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    joshin4colours: I refocused your question to ask about travel. Going into "what can I do over Thanksgiving?" made the question way too broad and non-specfic. Maybe you can focus the deleted portion (see the edit history) and repost a more specific question. This seemed preferable to closing the question outright. Nov 10, 2011 at 16:36
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    @RobertCartaino Thanks for that! Yes, I'm definitely more interested in specific travel plans and pitfalls than "what to do". Believe me, if we go to Las Vegas, that won't be a problem. Nov 10, 2011 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Your best bet is to travel on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) -- the airports won't be too crowded then, and fares are usually substantially cheaper. Tuesday might also be a cheap day, but try to avoid Wednesday at all costs -- it is one of the busiest travel days of the year in the US, if not the most.

Since most people are traveling home to be with their families, good hotel deals should be much easier to find in Las Vegas than LA or SF.

In most US cities, things will be pretty dead on Thanksgiving Day. Most stores and restaurants close early if they open at all, although I know from family traditions that movie theaters are open (and popular) after the early Thanksgiving Day feast. Just about everything is open extremely early (~5 AM in many cases) the next day for Black Friday, the most popular shopping day of the year. Avoid the stores on that day, unless you're looking to score some really cheap deals or you're the kind of person that likes to witness complete chaos firsthand.

And if you do somehow manage to arrive by Wednesday evening, that is a great "going-out" night as everyone hits the bars to let off steam before dealing with their families for the next four days.

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