Enrichment Arts & Culture

A majority of Americans say inflation affecting their Thanksgiving plans

The U.S. inflation rate fell to 7.7 percent in October.
Thanksgiving dinner.

Story at a glance

  • Two out of every 3 Americans say inflation will affect their Thanksgiving plans. 

  • Many cite concerns about the high cost of food, gasoline and other travel expenses.

  • The average Thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost 14 percent more this year than in 2021. 

With the holiday season just around the corner, many Americans are feeling the financial squeeze of inflation and report high costs will affect their plans. 

In October, the U.S. inflation rate fell to 7.7 percent from 8.2 percent measured in September. But more than 66 percent of Americans, or around 171 million people, say inflation will still affect their Thanksgiving plans, according to survey results from The Vacationer

Findings are based on responses from 1,003 adults who completed the survey on Oct. 25. 

Around a quarter of those who say prices will affect their plans cite increased food costs, nearly 17 percent said increased gas prices and higher airfare will affect their holiday. A quarter of these respondents said all three price increases are affecting their plans for Thanksgiving.

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Turkey shortages have been reported across the country, driving up the cost of the Thanksgiving staple. The average Thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost 14 percent more this year than it did in 2021. 

Americans in the Middle Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, were most likely to cite affordability concerns. However, those who live in New England were least likely to report inflation concerns about the holiday. 

This year, around 112 million Americans plan to travel for Thanksgiving, up from the 109 million adults who reported the same last year.

More than 30 percent of Americans who plan to travel for Thanksgiving this year will spend $500 or less on gas, flights, or accommodations, while nearly 29 percent will spend more than $500, representing around 74 million adults. 

In 2021, just 20 percent of Americans intended to spend more than $500 on travel for Thanksgiving. 

Gas prices are up more than 19 percent compared with this time last year, while the cost of food has risen by 13 percent.

As nearly half of men plan to travel for the holiday, they reported planning to spend more on travel than the nearly 40 percent of women planning to travel for Thanksgiving.

When it comes to the holiday season as a whole, respondents almost equally reported planning to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.

The increased costs associated with this holiday season can be attributed to a number of factors including supply chain issues, energy uncertainty and steady demand.