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Travel News: Thanksgiving Edition

Prepare for airport delays and escape to Mexico and Vermont

It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving, which means if you’re traveling anywhere by plane, you might happen to see (a) even longer lines than usual, (b) a lot of harassed security officials, and (c) an extraordinary number of men wearing skirts. As a response to the TSA’s new “enhanced” pat-down security checks, protestors are declaring November 24 to be National Opt-Out Day. Fliers are encouraged to opt out of the Advance Imaging Technology machines and into an advanced pat-down, slowing the security process to a crawl. Having been on the receiving end of an advanced pat down, we can say with authority it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. And wearing a kilt to get your revenge on a nameless TSA worker? Way to be mature, guys.

It’s a little out of our travel budget, sadly, but DC’s Hay-Adams hotel announced this week that its renovations are almost complete, from the modernized lobby to the Top of the Hay roof terrace. The hotel has also added new HD televisions to every room along with complimentary wi-fi and Bose iPod docking systems. We’re particularly excited about the roof area, which from renderings seems to have even better views of the White House than the POV terrace at the W hotel does.

Two good deals this week, courtesy of Travelzoo: is offering a five-night, all-inclusive trip to Mexico from either Washington or Baltimore for $739. The trip includes airfare; five nights at the four-star Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun hotel; all meals, snacks, and drinks; and $200 in resort coupons. The hotel is on a private beach and has a spa, four swimming pools, six restaurants, and five bars as well as activities such as yoga and water sports. Travel dates are limited, but you can extend them for an additional $60. Taxes are an extra $125 per person.

Just in time for ski season, the Essex Resort & Spa in Vermont is offering a ski-spa-and-culinary package for $189 a night. For each night you stay, choose one from the following: two lift tickets to Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort (worth $128), a 50-minute Swedish massage (worth $110), or a hands-on class at the resort’s cooking academy. The deal is valid Sunday through Thursday, November 26 through April 15 (weekends and a few blackout dates are $239 a night).

And finally, whether you’re stuck in traffic next week, waiting in an airport, or frantically trying to keep your kilt from flying up in the wind, CNN has a list of the best travel apps to keep you updated. We’re thinking TSAwait—the app that shows you the length of security lines at different airports—might be particularly useful on Wednesday. Happy Turkey Day!

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