Thanksgiving travel is up despite high gas prices, according to AAA

Boise, Idaho- (AAA release) Idahoans will be traveling in droves this Thanksgiving to see family and friends, even if it comes with a higher price tag. Nearly 54.6 million Americans, including 312,000 Idahoans, will take a day trip to Turkey this year, according to AAA, despite gasoline prices nearly 50 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

Today, the average price for a gallon of regular in Gem State is $4.17 a gallon, down 7 cents from a week ago and 20 cents from a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average is currently $3.61, down 13 cents from a week ago and 19 cents from a month ago.

Here’s a seven-year look back at Thanksgiving gas prices:

2021 $3.40 $3.68
2020 $2.12 $2.30
2019 $2.59 $2.96
2018 $2.59 $2.99
2017 $2.52 $2.66
2016 $2.13 $2.36
2015 $2.05 $2.18

Courtesy of AAA Idaho

AAA says the ongoing boycott of Russian crude and a recent agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners to cut production by two million barrels a day has put additional pressure on global crude prices due to a looming potential shortage. More than 50% of the price of finished gasoline is determined by the price of crude oil.

Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $77 a barrel, down about $7 from a month ago and $1 from a year ago.

“Falling gas prices are something to be thankful for, but gas pump prices this Thanksgiving are still among the highest on record,” said Matthew Conde, director of public affairs for AAA Idaho. “Nevertheless, people see family gatherings, especially around the holidays, as an important factor in their quality of life. Most people dig deep and find a way to budget for the opportunity to connect or reconnect with loved ones.”

On road

  • Check weather, road and traffic conditions before driving.
  • Avoid wearing bulky coats that can restrict movement while driving. Dress in layers.
  • Wash your car to keep windshields, mirrors and lights free of dirt and grime.
  • Never blindly follow your GPS. If a road isn’t being properly maintained, turn around.
  • Actively scan the road for debris, potholes and wildlife.
  • Watch out for slippery spots on curves, hills, bridges, and shady areas. Keep in mind that weather patterns and temperatures can change throughout the day and at different altitudes.
  • Share your travel plans, including the route you will take, with loved ones who can act on your behalf if you don’t arrive.

At the airport

  • Arrive at least two hours before departure.
  • Use the airline’s mobile app to stay informed of potential changes to your itinerary.
  • Avoid checking bags if possible – but if not, pack at least a change of clothes, medication and other valuables in your carry-on.

At the hotel

  • Check on-site availability of restaurants and other services, as staff shortages have resulted in reduced opening hours in some areas.
  • For added security, explore contactless options like online check-in or check-out, room service, and digital room keys.

“On any road trip, it’s important to bring an emergency kit with food, water, blankets and other warm clothing, a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares or reflectors, a first-aid kit, jumper cables and basic tools,” Conde said. “A collapsible shovel could come in handy when you need to dig out of the snow and plan ahead for icy roads and possible loss of traction – in an emergency, snow chains or socks, sand, cat litter or even a floor mat can be used to help you to be mobile again.”

Here’s a look at gas prices in Idaho as of 11/23/22:

boise $4.21

Coeur d’Alene – $3.93

franklin- $3.99

Idaho Falls – $3.99

Lewiston – $4.32

Pocatello – $4.11

Rexburg – $4.13

twin cases – $4.17


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