Motorists preparing to travel for Thanksgiving have something to be thankful for: falling gas prices. According to GasBuddy, prices in 44 of the 50 U.S. states are lower than a week ago, coming just in time for when millions of Americans will be hitting the road.
GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be the third lowest in over a decade at $2.11 per gallon. Average prices have only been lower for Thanksgiving in 2015 ($2.05) and 2008 ($1.81). Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.14, some 65 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving merely two years ago ($2.79).
“Over the Thanksgiving travel period, Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27, motorists will be collectively spending nearly $1.7 billion less at the gas pump than the five-year average,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “This year will go down as the first in over a decade that no state – not even traditionally pricey Hawaii or California – has seen its average daily price breach $3 per gallon. We can thank global oil production that continues to outpace rising demand for the low prices.”
Consumers are taking advantage. According to GasBuddy’s 2016 Thanksgiving Travel survey, 52% of those traveling this year will be on the road for at least 4 hours; 20% of which will be driving 10+ hours.
The survey also found that “running out of gas” is the third biggest fear when it comes to being on the road for the holidays this year, ranked behind 1) sitting in traffic and 2) needing to use the restroom but unsure where/when the next one will be available.
Additionally, travelers are on a mission. Fifty-five percent said they only make stops when absolutely necessary. When they do make stops, gas prices and location are the top deciding factors, followed by the cleanliness of the gas station convenience store.
“Travelers will be journeying a long distance this year. It is evident that consumers are looking to save time and make quick stops that can fulfill all their needs from affordable fuel, to clean restrooms, to good food,” said Michael DiLorenzo, vice president of marketing at GasBuddy. “The newly redesigned GasBuddy app is made to help with this journey. With enhanced search filters and station ratings, travelers will now be able to quickly and easily find what they want right in the palm of their hands."