More Americans Plan to Hit the Road for Thanksgiving Holiday

Gas prices lowest since February; most important factor in choosing pit stop this year, GasBuddy says
Image courtesy of GasBuddy

Forty-one percent of respondents to GasBuddy’s annual Thanksgiving Travel Survey said they plan to take a road trip this year, an 8% increase from 2022, the fuel price platform has revealed.

It projects that the national average price of gasoline will drop to $3.25 per gallon, saving Americans $573 million during holiday travel compared to last year. More than 50,000 stations are at $2.99 per gallon or less, and 12 states are seeing average prices below $3 per gallon, GasBuddy said.

Fewer respondents (36%) also said their plans were affected by high prices this year than last year, further demonstrating the relief at the pump.

Key findings from GasBuddy’s 2023 Thanksgiving Travel Survey:

  • 19% of respondents said they chose not to travel this year because inflation made fitting travel into their budget difficult.
  • Most (46%) ranked gas prices as the most important factor when choosing a pit stop, compared to convenience/location, which was most important last year.
  • Over half of respondents (55%) said they will be using a cash-back or loyalty program to save money on gas when they fill up.
  • Most plan to begin their trip Wednesday, Nov. 22 or Thursday, Nov. 23, and leave between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • Of those choosing to take a road trip this year, almost all (92%) said they also traveled by car for Thanksgiving last year.
  • 39% of Americans said they are more interested in owning an electric vehicle (EV) than last year.
  • Of those more interested in owning an EV, 18- to 29-year-olds saw the most interest (44%).

“More Americans are planning on hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, and it’s no wonder why,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, Dallas. “Average gas prices have plummeted in all 50 states in the weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, with $2.99 prices spreading like wildfire just in time for the start of the holiday season. Drivers will be saving over half a billion dollars from Wednesday through Sunday compared to what they spent last Thanksgiving with the national average at its lowest since January.”

GasBuddy’s 2023 Thanksgiving Travel Survey was taken by 6,359 users from November 2-6, 2023. Thanksgiving travel period is defined as Monday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Nov. 26.

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