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There’s no place like home for the holidays, they say — but only if you can afford to actually get there.
Skyrocketing travel and food prices are forcing hard choices for Americans this holiday season, putting the traditional Thanksgiving meal with family out of reach for many. It shouldn’t be this way. And it doesn’t have to be.
Travel around Thanksgiving is notoriously expensive, but buying plane tickets or making the long drive is even more painful this year than in years past.
The average round-trip flight in the United States for Thanksgiving is nearly 50% higher than it was last year, and up by nearly a third from pre-pandemic levels, based on data from Kayak.
If those prices leave many balking at jumping on a plane, driving isn’t much better. Gas prices may be down from their highs over the summer, but they are still up over 11% from where they were at this time last year. And it costs a whopping 44% more to fill up than it did in 2019.
But getting there is only half the battle. Families still have to buy the food for the Thanksgiving feast, and inflation is hitting them hard here, too, leaving many looking for ways to cut costs.
The price of a turkey is up by 23%, according to a report from Wells Fargo. The cost of white potatoes is up, too, while the cost of several essential ingredients for pie — flour, butter, and eggs — have jumped by between 17 and a dizzying 32%.
And to top it off, rising energy prices make it more expensive to cook, too.
These price increases leave the Thanksgiving meal as a whole costing over 13% more than last year — a price jump that simply makes this holiday impossible for many: One in four Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving entirely this year.
And among those skipping the travel and celebrating Thanksgiving in town with friends, a third will opt for a much cheaper main course: pizza.
Policies coming out of Washington are a major force driving up prices.
Out-of-control spending by Washington is making money worth less. Here’s why:
It’s not just spending, though. Regulations coming out of Washington make it more difficult for businesses to operate — whether drilling oil or growing cranberries. The red tape drives up costs for businesses, which turn into higher prices at the pump and on the shelves.
Americans deserve better. Instead of spending hand over fist and running massive budget deficits, Congress needs to have the discipline to set priorities and control its spending. And instead of issuing mounds of directives and regulatory controls, the federal government should trust Americans and allow families and businesses to make the responsible choices that make the most sense for them.
The result would be a vibrant economy that provides high-quality goods at competitive prices.
And that helps people get home for the holidays.
Learn more about the solutions for inflation that could make your holidays more affordable.