Holiday travel up 2.3% from last year

Local Thanksgiving travelers see drop in gas prices
More than 55 million Americans are expecting to travel this Thanksgiving holiday.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:20 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - More than 55 million Americans are expecting to travel this Thanksgiving holiday.

Many people traveling via planes, trains and automobiles. For folks hitting the road, the price of gas is seeing some relief. The timing couldn’t be better: gas prices continue to drop as we head into the holidays, giving travelers’ wallets some relief.

More than a million Wisconsinites will travel by vehicle this Thanksgiving holiday according to AAA. Nearly 50 million people nationwide will travel - that’s up this year by 2.3 percent. It’s the third highest since 2000.

With more people traveling this year for the Thanksgiving holiday - it’s a relief to travelers savoring the savings on the price of gas.

“I think they’re low. It’s good,” said De Pere resident Nick Gilling.

“Very happy about that. I like to see it, especially here. it’s a lot cheaper here than it is further north,” said John Mills, Sister Bay resident.

GasBuddy shows the national average is down more than 25-cents from a month ago and roughly 36-cents per gallon from a year ago.

According to AAA, the gas price has been trending down through the year due to several global factors - including the war in Ukraine, but also the shutdowns and slowdowns of oil refineries after the pandemic.

“The refineries pulled back production during the pandemic when demand was not as high and it took them a while to begin adding that production back on,” Nick Jarmusz, AAA, Dir. of Public Affairs.

AAA says these gas prices will likely be consistent through the rest of the year, which sounds good to folks looking to travel closer to Christmas or even taking that quick getaway from the winter blues.

“Especially if you’re coming from further away, being able to go to a destination that you really enjoy and you can afford versus having to stay closer to home,” Mills.

As for when you travel, the busiest time is expected to be this Wednesday between 2 and 6 p.m. The busiest time when you return home should be on Sunday between 3 and 5 p.m.