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Thanksgiving Ideas

Adulting + Thanksgiving Away From Home or Family

One of the not so fun parts about adulthood is having to decide not to spend money on flights home for Thanksgiving. Matt and I reluctantly made this decision, and I know a lot of people have been or will be in this situation. Here are some great ways to make Thanksgiving away from home enjoyable!

ideas for Thanksgiving Away From Home

Get together with friends: Do you have friends who aren’t going home either? Get together for “Friendsgiving” on Thanksgiving. Divvy up who brings what, and the host gets to brainstorm some fun games!

Plan for your favorites: We all have favorite Thanksgiving day foods, so plan to make them! Ask your relatives for the recipes, and plan to make smaller versions depending on the size of your crowd. Or make the full recipe and plan on having glorious leftovers for days.

Call home: With all of this technology, take advantage of it and coordinate videochats or phone calls with your family! Even if you’re passed around for a bit, it’ll make you feel like you’re at least a little bit apart of the action.

Create your own traditions: Mesh you and your friends traditions, or create a completely new one! Order take-out, watch a certain movie or make a fun new dish! Maybe you run every Thanksgiving morning, or start the day with Irish coffee.

Distract yourself: Sometimes the best thing you can do is distract yourself. Watch a movie, make your gift list, and map out your plan for Black Friday. Keep yourself busy throughout the day, or lose yourself in a good book. My best advice is not to dwell on it too much. Allow yourself be sad and miss home for awhile, then move on and distract yourself!


This will be my second Thanksgiving away from family. My first was when I was studying abroad, and while that was really difficult because I had to go to school, this year should be easier because I have Matt with me.

Have you ever spent Thanksgiving away from home? What did you do? What are you plans this year?




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  • Awe these are great! The only thing I ever really missed about being alone on a holiday was food haha so I like that you brought up just making it yourself! Ive done two thanksgivings away from home, and both turned out okay.

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    • There are a lot of pros and cons in my opinion to living away from home and these are honestly the cons of it! I’m looking forward to having our own traditions when we aren’t at home!

  • Anna Hubbard

    I’m not going to be home this Thanksgiving, but my parents are bringing it to me this year! I’m very excited!
    -Anna |

    • That’s so nice! My mom is already talking about that if we can’t make it home again!

  • Miss ALK

    I’ve spent only one Thanksgiving home since moving away for college back in 2012. Honestly- I love the fact that Thanksgiving is a holiday that I’ve been having new experiences at each year!! This year unfortunately I have to work on it, but I look forward in years to come to continue to make my own new traditions.

    xoxo A

    • That’s a really cool tradition, to try something new each year! I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving, lots of coffee and great co-workers have helped me out!
      Hope you have a good Thanksgiving!

  • Greta Hollar

    My first Thanksgiving away from my family was so hard! Skyping and calling home definitely helps.

    Greta |

    • I cried like three times, but I had so many friends in my study abroad program that we were all able to deal with it together! This year I have to say that my fiance has definitely become more of my home so it will probably be easier! We’re definitely planning on calling home, maybe even multiple times!

  • My family typically travels on Thanksgiving but I’m so excited to be home this year for it. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Ashley!


    • Thanks Katie! We traveled on Thanksgiving one year but my grandparents refused to do it again because the food was not the greatest. My mom’s secret plan is to try & start doing that again! I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving where ever in the world you are!

  • mckenna bleu

    Love this post, I haven’t been home for Turkey Day in many years so this speaks to me!!

  • A friendsgiving sounds ideal for a Thanksgiving away from home/family! I remember we FaceTimed a relative who couldn’t be with us one year.

    Alix |

    • It should really help! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone, even if it’s over a camera!

  • These are wonderful suggestions, Ashley! These are great for any holiday away from home!

  • Yes to all of these! We will be with my hubby’s (well will be by Thanksgiving) family during Thanksgiving since they live in our city.

    • That’s great! Matt & I are from the same home town so when we are home there can be three thanksgivings. I’m kind of looking forward to not having to drive all over our state!

  • I love Friendsgiving! Sometimes it’s nice to do a friendsgiving and a Thanksgiving!

  • Sydney Power

    This is awesome! Luckily I am close enough that I don’t need to fly home so I will be able to go home . But I love video chats to feel like you are there!

    • Video chats are the best and make moving far away so much easier!

  • Great ideas! I spent two years away from home living in australia where they don’t have thanksgiving but of course had to throw our own!

    • I love doing that! Our program in Spain threw us this special Thanksgiving dinner where they did a Spanish take using traditional Turkey-Day. It was such a fun way to celebrate even though we had to go to class that day!

  • Amy

    These are great! Thankfully I haven’t had to spend Thanksgiving away from home yet (hopefully I never will, but you never know).


    Amy | Pastel N Pink