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This Is Going to Be One of the Most Expensive Holidays on Record

Thanksgiving dinner (Adobe stock image)

From sticker shock at the grocery store to the pain at the gas pump, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner and holiday travel will be more expensive than ever this year.

Not only is the cost of food pinching consumer wallets, but soaring gas prices are also a significant burden for the millions of people gearing up to travel. 

Americans are embracing a pre-pandemic holiday spirit, with an estimated 53 million people traveling by plane and car. The American Automobile Association says those numbers are close to travel levels before COVID. 
"So that means you're going to have a lot of company on the roads," said Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA. "There's going to be traffic. And when you get to the airports, if you're flying, you're going to have a lot of lines." 

And if you're driving, it'll be much more expensive than last year. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.40. That's up roughly $1.30 from this time a year ago. 

President Biden hopes to ease the financial burden by releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve. But analysts don't expect that move to make much of a difference at the pump. 

"Once people have decided they're going to go, they go," Gross said. "They just figure out another way of budgeting in the cost." 

It's not just gas prices, the Farm Bureau projects Thanksgiving dinner for ten people will cost 14% more than last year, averaging over $50. 

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