Holiday travel is upon us. Many of us have family who live nearly 1,000 miles or more away and hopping on a plane or gearing up for a road trip to see them for the holidays is never a cheap endeavor.

There are ways to soften the blow. For example, I'm flying out on Christmas Eve and returning during the middle of the week, making my flight almost a third of the cost of someone flying to my destination on the 23rd.

Even that route is still expensive though, and just like everything else these days, it isn't getting any cheaper. Nearly a quarter of people staying home this holiday season say they aren't traveling because they simply can't afford it according to NerdWallet.

According to another study by PWC via Bank Rate, two in five Americans will spend more on the holidays as a whole than last year at a roughly 7% increase. The expected final expense for the 2023 holidays, travel and all, is estimated to be roughly $1,530.

According to Wise Voter, Michigan's holiday travel budget is nearly half that number. That expectation is made considerably worse when only 13 states would be able to afford that budget, and Michigan isn't even close to being one of them.

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According to Wise Voter's study, Michigan travelers will only have a budget of $863.33, the 16th-lowest budget in the country.

The Midwest doesn't fare much better outside of Illinois. Ohio's travel budget is $921.33, and Indiana's is $1,023.83, ranking as the 18th and 19th lowest budgets, respectfully. Illinois has the 21st-highest budget, with $1,285.42 to spend.

Unfortunately, many of the suggestions to overcome expensive holiday travel don't really apply anymore, whether it be saving up throughout the year or paying for flight tickets up to 10 weeks in advance.

Christmas Budgets in 16 Michigan Cities Show Staggering Wage Gap

Leave it to the financial gurus at WalletHub to do the research and find the average Christmas budget for 16 of Michigan's cities. Let's start with the lowest and work our way to the Michigan city that will spend the most, on average, this season.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

LOOK: What Christmas was like the year you were born

To see how Christmas has changed over the last century, Stacker explored how popular traditions, like food and decorations, emerged and evolved from 1920 to 2021 in the U.S. and around the world. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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