Cheap gas fuels uptick in travel | AAA Thanksgiving Forecast

Cheap gas fuels uptick in travel | AAA Thanksgiving Forecast

This Thanksgiving, more than 46 million Americans will traverse the country to spend time with their families and friends. According to the AAA 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast, that’s the highest number of travelers since 2007. And while many will fly to their destinations, the vast majority (actually, more than 89 percent) of travelers will choose the automobile as their mode of transport.

Why such big numbers of automotive travel for Turkey Day? It’s the perfect storm, really. And I’m not referring to the massive wintry blast headed toward the I-95 corridor as I type this.

AAA’s forecast attributes the uptick in travelers this year to incredibly low gas prices. I can attest to this, personally, as I drove from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina today (about a 450 mile trip).

I had one pit stop in Southern Virginia to refuel; it was in Mecklenburg County, where reports premium octane sells at the Shell for $2.89 right now. For the first time in a long time, my husband gawked at the bill because it was so cheap. “I can’t remember the last time I paid less than three dollars for premium,” he gasped.

Just take a look at the heat map below. It’s magnifies the reality of a national gas price average of about $2.85 per gallon. Everything light orange, yellow and green is less than $3.00 a gallon for regular grade fuel. That’s pretty much the entire country. Only New England and the West Coast are shelling out more than three bucks per gallon for regular.

Gas Price Heat Map as shown on on November 25, 2014.

Gas Price Heat Map as shown on on November 25, 2014.

The AAA website also added this explanation for the positive impact of affordable gas on Thanksgiving travel in 2014:

The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, a welcome gift for travelers as they head into the busy holiday travel season. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers likely will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. More than 89 percent (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.

Where are YOU driving this Thanksgiving? What’s the cheapest gasoline you’ve paid for on your journey? Where’d you find it? I’d love to connect with you in the comments!

Related Articles

Looking for some Turkey Day travel tips? Here are some additional resources:

5 tips for traveling smartly this Thanksgiving – Be Car Chic

VIDEO: Holiday travel tips that save you time and money – WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

It’s Black Friday – buy a car! – Be Car Chic


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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.