Gas prices down, but still at record high for Thanksgiving


FILE – A customer readies to pump gas at this Ridgeland, Miss., Costco, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(NewsNation) — Gas prices have fallen since the summer, but this Thanksgiving, they’ll be at the highest level they’ve ever been for the holiday, GasBuddy found.

The platform projects that the national average will be $3.68 on Thanksgiving Day.

That’s better than a few months ago, when the average U.S. gas price passed the $5 mark, but about 30 cents higher than last Thanksgiving.

Despite gas prices, 20% more Americans are planning to travel for Thanksgiving in 2022, according to GasBuddy. AAA predicts 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more, which is also an increase of 1.5% over 2021.

About 23% of those who responded to GasBuddy’s Thanksgiving survey plan on spending one to three hours in the car.

According to AAA’s metrics, this year could be the third busiest for Thanksgiving travel since the association started tracking in 2003.

“It has been a dizzying year at the pump, with motorists likely feeling nauseous not from the eggnog, but from the roller coaster ride at the pump with record gasoline prices earlier this year, which have fallen significantly since midsummer,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement. “Americans, however, are proving that while we’ll openly complain about high gas prices, most of us aren’t deterred from taking to the highways to observe Thanksgiving with those that matter most to us.”

The busiest travel days on the nation’s highways are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Friday after between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., GasBuddy said.

Regardless of the mode of transportation people use to get to their loved ones this season, Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of travel, said they can expect crowds.

“With travel restrictions lifted and more people comfortable taking public transportation again, it’s no surprise buses, trains and cruises are coming back in a big way,” she said. “If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.”

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