This week saw the lovely people of the USA celebrate their biggest holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. The tradition of giving thanks for the harvest has been alive in America since 1621, and today has morphed into a day of gathering loved ones together and saying what you’re thankful for.
But this year I have noticed that us folks in the UK have somehow been sucked into this tradition. And it’s come like a bolt from the blue. Last year there was barely a mention of Thanksgiving in the UK, but this year we have seen hordes of people going crazy for Black Friday deals in supermarkets, and I myself am going to a Thanksgiving dinner this evening with 6 other Brits. Not a yank in sight!
So are us Brits becoming more Americanised? Well, if this weekend is anything to go by, absolutely! But before everyone gets all upset that we’re losing our heritage, that’s certainly not happening either. Remember the Royal Wedding, or the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee? No, I just think the world is getting smaller, and with the influence of social media we’re sharing others’ cultures more than ever.
So let’s talk about the positives that we can gain from our neighbours across the pond, shall we? Well, for one thing, America is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The depths of the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas’s nightclubs, New Orleans’ music scene, New York’s buzz… I could go on forever. Each time I’ve been stateside I’ve been more and more surprised by the variety of cultures, cuisines and yes, even the people I’ve encountered. Each time I feel I have to drag myself away kicking and screaming!
If you haven’t made the journey yet, you really need to get out there and see what all the fuss is about, not just for Thanksgiving but at any time of the year. So in honour of the US of A, here are my top 5 ways you can enjoy this incredible country.
1. Take a group tour
There’s so much to see in America, that a great option to see a lot in a short space of time is to take a group tour. If you’re on the younger side of 30, you might want to look at TrekAmerica tours which focus on young, fun adventures with a small group of fellow travellers and a tour leader. If you’re up for something a bit more in-depth or if you’re past the days of loud music on a long road trip, then a great choice is Grand American Adventures, who focus more on specific areas rather than covering loads of ground.
2. Twin Centre trips
If the thought of a fast-paced tour makes you feel exhausted before you even step on the plane but you still want to see a lot, then a twin centre holiday could be just what you’re looking for. Twin centre trips mean simply combining two destinations into one holiday, mostly connected with an internal flight. For seasoned partiers, twinning Las Vegas & Miami would be absolutely mind-blowing, or if you’re looking for culture and shopping, then a New York and Boston break could be right up your alley. Take a look at some great twin centre trips from myamericaholiday for more inspiration.
3. Hire a campervan
If you’re more of an independent traveller who wants to sleep anywhere the wind takes you, then why not rent a campervan or RV? When you’re driving on the highway in the desert southwest you’ll see that every other vehicle is an RV (think Walt and Jesse’s Meth lab from Breaking Bad), but you don’t have to drive a boring old cream coloured vehicle. There is another way! Check out these sexy little designs from Escape Campervans which can have up to 2 double beds inside (although I think I’d just stick with one I think!)
4. Take the train
OK so it’s a bit more pricey than the other options, but you’ll see some pretty incredible scenery as you wind your way around (and occasionally through!) mountains and into canyon country. Amtrak are your best bet for this, as they cover cross country as well as a selection of regional trips. Their interactive map is pretty cool for tracking live departures and arrivals too.
5. Whizz in and out
So although America is just absolutely huge you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to just see one city this time. Nothing wrong with that! Some of my fondest memories have been spending just a couple of nights in New York, Miami or Chicago, as it really focuses you and makes you enjoy every moment! You can package together flights and accommodation using Expedia or Tripadvisor, but don’t forget to check the price of your flights on Skyscanner too, to make sure you’ve got the best value.
Have you got any more top tips for seeing the USA? Let me know below… And Happy Thanksgiving!
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