Thanksgiving Travel and Fuel Prices

Nearly 42.2 million travelers are expected to hit the roads or take airplanes during the Thanksgiving holiday. According to AAA, that’s an increase of 11.4 percent over last year.

AAA says improvements in the economy, disposable personal income, and household net worth combined with a decline in consumer debt are allowing more Americans to venture at least 50 miles from home. While 3.5 percent more travelers will fly to their destinations, an estimated 12 percent more motorists will be on the roads during the Nov. 24-28 period.

What can Thanksgiving travelers expect to pay for gasoline this holiday season? AAA data released show that the nationwide average price of gasoline stood at $2.883 per gallon, down 0.5 cents. The lowest prices were found in South Carolina and Missouri, while the highest prices–above $3.10 per gallon–were recorded in Alaska, Hawaii, California, Connecticut, New York, and Washington.

The U.S. average price of diesel fuel fell 0.2 cents to $3.196 per gallon. AAA data show Missouri, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina had the lowest diesel prices, while the retail price of diesel fuel exceeded $3.50 per gallon in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington.

Why is there a price disparity between states? There are several reasons why prices can vary from state-to-state. One of the largest factors is the amount of state, regional and local taxes. Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel are the highest in California, where the retail price of each gallon of gasoline includes 65.0 cents in taxes. California’s retail price of diesel fuel is taxed at 73.1 cents per gallon.

AAA says travelers will spend a median of $495 this Thanksgiving, which is about the same as last year. Thanksgiving costs less than other holidays because the big meal of the day is consumed at someone’s home.

If you’re planning to drive this year, be sure to buckle up and drive defensively. Safe travels!

For more information on fuel pricing and how to save on your fuel purchased this holiday season and beyond, call Sokolis Group at 267-482-6155 or reach out to us at