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Ten Ways to Get Away From It All on Thanksgiving

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Swap this year's leftovers for an ocean-view room.

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Thanksgiving is all about family gathering around a table laden with food, right?

But there aren't any rules about where the table is placed. Or if there are rules, maybe it's time to break them this year and move the feast to Aspen, Miami, or Paris.

You already know, of course, that traveling the day before Thanksgiving, or the Sunday after, is asking for trouble.

But traveling just before the holiday, and staying on for the long weekend, is a smart move.

The week immediately after Thanksgiving is traditionally a loser for the travel industry, and therefore a huge savings opportunity for travelers.

And given the state of the economy, those savings offers are being extended to the days immediately before Thanksgiving and after it, and in fact all the way through the middle of December.

You can get a great deal to travel on any day you choose except the Wednesday before and the Sunday after the holiday.

Here are 10 suggestions for things to do besides stay home and baste a bird this Thanksgiving. If any of these precise deals is gone by the time you click on them, you'll find comparable or better offers in their place.

1. Toss a Coin

Thanksgiving in a casino? Why not?

Those airfare-and-hotel discounts to Las Vegas are getting sweeter for the holidays. If you leave the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, you can get airfare from New York and four nights at the MGM Mirage (MGM) or the Luxor for $322. Similar deals are available at the MGM Grand ($337), the Bellagio ($386), and at Planet Hollywood (HOT) ($339).

In Atlantic City, you can get a three-night promotional special at Harrah's Casino Hotel or The Showboat for $186. Caesar's three-night special starts at $284.

I'm not making this up. These prices aren't much higher than the price of a Super 8 Motel in town.

2. Sail Away

Cruise prices continue to fall so low it's almost more expensive to stay home.

Among the offers from high-end lines: You can get 79% off the brochure price of the Norwegian Cruise Line's seven-night Exotic Western Caribbean cruise, departing November 22. A cabin with a balcony is $649, and interior cabins are $299.

Or, you can sail out of Miami to Cozumel and back for four nights on the Royal Caribbean (RCL) Navigator of the Seas, and stay in an ocean-view cabin for $329.

3. Give the Kids a Thrill

A fully-equipped condo in or near a family-friendly resort or beach town is a great way to take the kids along for the ride.

At this writing, rentals listed on eBay include a selection of condos near Disney World (DIS), available for three nights to a week including the Thanksgiving holiday, for $200 to $400 for a one-bedroom unit or $400 to $1,000 for two bedrooms. Similar offers are listed in and around Miami and Palm Beach resorts.

Out West, you can get a week in a condo in Lake Tahoe for $600, in Desert Springs for $1,000, or near Disneyland for $800.

The best prices, of course, are in places that are off-season, and we're not talking about Alaska. In Myrtle Beach, two-bedroom rentals can be found for $350, and in Hilton Head a three-bedroom was asking about $500.

4. Loll at a Grownup Resort

If you want a real break, why not leave the whole family in the dust and take a break at a resort for grownups?

The Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, has a special offer for four nights and airfare starting at $647. A similar deal at The Phoenician starts at $773. In Sedona, the Amara Resort has a long-weekend break for $632.
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