Pricey Gratitude: Thanksgiving Costs Soar
Gas, airfare up 20% from a year ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2011 6:47 AM CST
About 42.5 million people are expected to travel over Thanksgiving, the highest number since the start of the recession.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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(Newser) – Tens of millions of Americans are now on the move for Thanksgiving, but the soaring cost of travel is keeping many others at home. Some 42.5 million Americans are expected to drive, fly, or ride trains over the holiday, and gas prices are up almost 20% from last year, according to AAA, as is the cost of a round-trip plane ticket on the top 40 US routes. Most Amtrak fares are also up from a year ago, but only by 2% to 5%.

The cost of Thanksgiving dinner is also up, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which says the average cost of a 16-pound turkey and all the trimmings is now $49.20, up 13% from last year. One Buffalo man staying home for Thanksgiving tells the AP that he had to take a second job to pay the bills, leaving him with no time to make the annual trip to visit his wife's family. "When you can't travel and people can't travel to you, you gather your closest friends," he says. "And that way nobody has to pay an arm and a leg, and everyone can eat well."