What are the best places to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday?

Consumers spent around $300 per person between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2021
Consumers spent around $300 per person between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2021(Seth Wenig | AP)
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:03 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - WalletHub has released its 2022 Best Places to Go for Thanksgiving report to save you some cash this holiday season.

Consumers spent around $300 per person between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2021, with the average Thanksgiving meal cost sitting around $53 on average for 10 people. This year, a few Valley cities made the top 20 cities to spend Thanksgiving.

Top 20 Cities for Thanksgiving:

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Raleigh, NC
  5. Gilbert, AZ
  6. Tampa, FL
  7. Plano, TX
  8. Durham, NC
  9. Irving, TX
  10. Miami, FL
  11. Boise, ID
  12. Scottsdale, AZ
  13. Dallas, TX
  14. Pittsburgh, PA
  15. Fort Wayne, IN
  16. Norfolk, VA
  17. Charlotte, NC
  18. Chesapeake, VA
  19. Lexington-Fayette, KY
  20. Seattle, WA

Other Arizona cities that made the list further down the line were Chandler at #30, Tucson at #49, Mesa at #50, and Phoenix at #60.

Some other fun Thanksgiving stats WalletHub uncovered during the study are as follows:

  • The average American eats 4,500 calories during an average Thanksgiving meal
  • $835 million is spent on Thanksgiving turkeys every year, and 46 million turkeys are killed for the holiday each year
  • $26 million of damages are caused by residential building fires every Thanksgiving holiday
  • 66% of people try to have Thanksgiving dinners without discussing politics at the table

Kathleen D. Vohs, professor, and Chair in Marketing at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities said her recommendation to families looking to cut corners and save money this holiday season is to avoid small charges that can add up. “For instance, you could take an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it at a free water station as opposed to buying expensive water bottles to and from your destination,” Vohs said. “If you are driving, bring a cooler with food and drinks so you can avoid having to eat out.”

She said she acknowledges that there are many kinds of transportation methods to get to where you’re headed for the holidays but that a little research can go a long way. “Prices will most likely be higher in locations that are directly off interstate highways. Probably a good idea to fuel up before leaving home,” she said. “As far as air travel, the keyword would be flexibility. Being able to leave a day or two before the big rush may mean saving some money as far as fares are concerned.” She says planning early may just save you hundreds of dollars.

Budgeting during Thanksgiving can also be shored up by friends and family pitching in on getting dinner together. Emily Goenner, an assistant professor at St. Cloud University, said, “For the holiday itself, do not be afraid to ask your guests to bring a side dish, dessert, or wine to help defray costs. And if you are serving wine, keep in mind that the first bottle is the one that people will taste the most so you can probably serve cheaper wines.”

According to D Vohs, more than 50% of Thanksgiving dinner hosts don’t have a firm meal budget, causing them to push their limits as a family--something that can add even more stress to an already potentially stressful family time.

“Some ways are to pool resources (like a potluck) as everyone offers to bring something and you need not take all the stress. The second is to budget, plan the menu, and look for deals,” D Vohs said. “The third and most important is to put focus on making memories by spending quality time with family and friends rather than embellishments.”

Want to learn more about Thanksgiving holiday fun facts and statistics? Click here.