A Guide for Not Being Home for the Holidays - Baby Chick
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A Guide for Not Being Home for the Holidays

Experience an untraditional holiday with a free pass to being 'not home for the holidays.' Let go of the hustle and bustle and find peace.

Published November 22, 2016

When the holidays approach, many of us run around with a mile-long list of things to do: dishes to make, presents to buy, etc. But what if I told you that you could have a free pass at “just not” this year? A free pass to not being home for the holidays?

A Choice to Make

About three years ago, my mother — whom we often spent holidays with — moved out of state to care for an elderly relative. Simultaneously, my husband’s parents had the opportunity to attend their alma mater’s Thanksgiving Day football game, as did my sister-in-law and her fiancé at his prospective university in another state. They were on a “come and go” dining schedule for Turkey Day to accommodate everyone’s travel schedules for the games.

That didn’t quite fit the mold of the traditional family dinner my husband and I both grew up having. We had a choice: we could race back and forth across the state to try and squeeze in time here and there with everyone before they had to depart for their planned events, or we could “just not.” We could enjoy the time together off work without a hectic holiday schedule.

Bucking Tradition

We decided to buck tradition and spend the holiday with our little foursome — taking a family vacation instead! Our families were happy to hear we’d be taking a little time off, and then they didn’t have to feel like they needed to host us when they also needed to be on their way (out of town). It was a win-win and took the pressure of a “perfect holiday.” And whenever we feel nostalgic for a family get-together, we can bring the big family dinner back. But for now, this works well for our little crew, and I love that everyone is happy and can thoroughly experience the true meaning of Thanksgiving in their unique way.

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner, Baby Chick, holidays away, home away from home

Benefits of Not Being Home for the Holidays

There are plenty of benefits to not being home for the holidays. No grocery shopping for obscure seasonal ingredients that six stores are out of, no washing mountains of dirty dishes, no stressing about whether the house is guest-ready. Another benefit? Your airport experience. Flying on Thanksgiving Day, the airport is a ghost town. Everyone is already where they are hoping to be and having their turkey while you’re cruising through security without a line in sight. They’re watching football while you’re stretching out and watching in-flight entertainment on a half-empty plane. It’s simply genius.

Thanksgiving, NYC, travel, Baby Chick, home away from home, holidays away
Thanksgiving, NYC, travel, Baby Chick, home away from home, holidays away
Thanksgiving, Aspen, home away from home, Baby Chick, holidays away

If you can’t be with the ones you love during the holidays, why not be somewhere you love, making new memories and forming new traditions? We’ve had Thanksgiving in New York City and Aspen, and this year, we’ll be in a beautiful cabin in a national forest. We’ve learned that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is gratitude for our family and friends wherever we all celebrate and true thankfulness for our blessings no matter where we go.

Tips on Escaping Tradition

A holiday away certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’re considering escaping the Turkey Day hustle and bustle this year, let me share some tips and tricks to make the most of your experience!

1. Clearly communicate your plans with your extended family.

Don’t spring your vacay plans on your family if they are holding a seat for you at the table. Let them know your plans well in advance to avoid hurting any feelings. The last thing you would want is to offend the ones you love. Be clear about your vacation plans and perhaps invite them to join you on your trip if possible.

2. Buy your plane tickets in advance.

Holiday travel can be expensive, so it’s imperative that you buy your tickets in advance, or you’ll be facing price increases of 50% or higher. Remember, traveling on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, or on the holiday itself will be the most economical when ticket shopping. Check into several dates to get the best deal.

3. Opt for a vacation rental instead of a hotel.

Missing that feeling of home for the holidays? Consider renting a charming home away through Airbnb at your destination of choice. That way, you get the feeling of home wherever you roam. When we were in Aspen for Thanksgiving last year, I made a full traditional dinner in our vacation rental thanks to a large kitchen that was extremely fun to cook in, bringing the holiday along with us!

4. Lastly, don’t overload your schedule.

Enjoy the simple pleasures of your holiday destination, and don’t overplan it. Wander around without a map, let the little ones play, window shop, and drink too much hot chocolate. These are the memories your littles will love looking back on because wherever you celebrate, the time together means the most.

Thanksgiving, Aspen, home away from home, Baby Chick, holidays away

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays, home or away! xo

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  • Author

Sarah Ring is a mother to two elementary-aged sons and one toddler daughter. She is passionate about travel, date nights, Southern manners & traditional children’s clothing, but above all, finding… Read more

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