Our Best Tips to Have a Great Thanksgiving Away From Home


While many people like to stay close to home during the holiday season, Thanksgiving can be a great time to travel in Oregon. The kids are on vacation from school, and there aren't as many work deadlines. It's also the start of the winter outdoor season, with downhill skiing at Mt. Bachelor and snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and fat biking up in the Central Oregon Cascades. 

Renting a vacation home during the holidays is the way to go, as you’ll have access to a full kitchen and extra room to spread out with lots of people. Being in your own vacation rental also makes it feel more like a "home away from home."  

Here are our top tips to make your Thanksgiving away-from-home the best one ever: 

Invite Friends or Family Along for the Trip: The great thing about vacation homes is that you can have more room! Thanksgiving is about celebrating with friends or family, so consider inviting them along for the trip. #Friendsgiving, anyone? If you are just traveling with your immediate family, bring a device to Skype or FaceTime with your loved ones back home to feel more connected.

Plan Ahead: Check your rental's inventory list for cooking tools you might need. We suggest buying recyclable aluminum roasting pans and extra aluminum foil for your turkey. While supplies vary from rental to rental, they will probably have most major kitchen items, like whisks, measuring cups, mixing bowls, cooking pans, and casserole dishes. Not sure what your rental is equipped with? Just call and ask! Most importantly, don't forget to bring extra Tupperware containers for all those delicious leftovers.



Make a Shopping List: There's nothing worse than realizing you forgot an ingredient when you are cooking a holiday meal, so be sure to plan your recipes and make a shopping list before you arrive. There’s a great local grocery store in Sunriver that should have everything you need, but plan to shop early. Don't forget to pack reusable shopping bags!

Bring Your Traditions With You: If you have a traditional gravy boat, be sure to bring it! If you usually decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving, bring stockings to put up. If you usually watch the Macy's Day parade or your favorite football team, turn on the TV! Traditions are what make the holidays feel like the best time of year and can help everyone feel more at home.



Get Outside: Earn your turkey by running or walking the Annual Sunriver Turkey Trot 5K, go for a hike or snowshoe, or try ice skating. Mt. Bachelor may be open for skiing, so be sure to check the snow report. The SHARC has a tubing hill that will be open, including a fun night of Glow-in-the-Dark Tubing over Thanksgiving weekend. You'll feel better before a big Thanksgiving meal, and everyone will appreciate the fresh air. 

Check the Weather: Because the weather can change so rapidly this time of year, from warm to cold and from snow to rain, be sure to check the weather before you travel. That way, you can make sure to pack proper clothing and plan appropriate activities.

Pack Holiday Fun for the Kids: Keeping the kids busy can be the key to a successful holiday. Pack colored construction paper and crayons to make turkeys, pick up a few pumpkins from the grocery store to carve, or pack a football for a game of touch in the backyard. Head to the SHARC for swimming, or bring a deck of cards, puzzles, or your favorite board games in case the weather is bad.

Go Black Friday Shopping: It's a holiday tradition — some people just love to shop on Black Friday. All the major national retailers are available in Bend just a short 20-minute drive away, so you can plan your shopping spree in advance and not  miss out on a single deal.