Nearly two-thirds (31%) of US consumers say they are less willing to take on travel expenses because of the economic crisis and plan to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving holiday closer to home, according to a survey by Experian’s LowerMyBills.com, which also found that 38% plan to travel only 1-25 miles to celebrate the holiday.
Though travel appears to be curtailed, however, 31% of consumers also say that the observance of Thanksgiving is now more significant to them because of the recession.
The unwillingness to travel is indicative of overall cutbacks in spending among a large percentage of consumers. In a lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday, 87% of respondents say they have been curtailing spending in the last three months because of the recession.
Still, Experian said, Americans appear committed to celebrating the holiday with loved ones. When it comes to the number of Thanksgiving celebrations survey respondents plan to attend, 70% plan to go to one and 19% of respondents will attend two, the survey found.
Consumers Won’t Commute Far
When asked the farthest distance they are planning to travel for a Thanksgiving celebration this year:
- 37% of consumers say they do not plan to travel for their Thanksgiving meal because they are hosting the celebration.
- 38% of consumers? anticipate commuting 1-25 miles at most for their Thanksgiving celebration.
- Of the respondents who plan to commute to a celebration, 29% expect to endure rain or snow while trying to get there.
What’s Most Important
The survey also found that 91% of survey respondents say that spending time with loved ones is most important to them when celebrating Thanksgiving.
When asked which of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes are most important to them in the Thanksgiving meal, 87% said turkey, 67% said stuffing, 67% said pie, 58% said mashed potatoes, and 55% said cranberry sauce.
Top Black-Friday Websites
In other Experian findings also indicative of consumer frugality and deal-seeking behavior, many Americans have hit the internet in search of Black-Friday deals before Thanskgiving even arrives. The latest data from Experian Hitwise revealed that, in the four weeks ended November 7, 2009, online properties BlackFriday Info, Black Friday Ads, Walmart, Black Friday Advertisements? and Target received the most online traffic from web searches for “Black Friday.”
About the data: The Thanksgiving travel study was conducted via the web among 2,542 online auto insurance shoppers who had just completed a rate-quote request form on LowerMyBills.com. It was fielded from October 14 – November 11, 2009. The Hitwise data on Black-Friday related websites was collected during the four weeks ended November 7, 2009.