Today is the busiest travel day of the year, with an estimated 43.4 million travelers heading home for the holidays. But some Thanksgiving travelers are getting a bit of a break this year by spending less cash to fill their gas tanks on the way to their holiday destinations.
“It’s the lowest Thanksgiving gas price we’ve seen since 2010," says central New York AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.
Dibble says motorists will be paying an average of $3.49 in central New York, $3.56 statewide, and $3.21 for a gallon of gas nationally. That’s down 29 cents from last year in Syracuse.
"It’s definitely great news for people traveling by cars, 90 percent of travelers," Dibble said. "It’s also down 26 cents from a year ago. So if you look at 2010, it was $3.08. Certainly we’re not at that level, but we're down 26 cents from the last Thanksgiving holiday.”
Dibble says winter mix gasoline is less expensive than the summer mix, and there's been a steady supply of fuel, noting Superstorm Sandy impacted gas prices a year ago. But she also notes prices may not drop much further.
"One thing we’re keeping an eye on is the price of crude oil," Dibble said. "We have come down below $100 a barrel. We were above $100 a barrel for a number of weeks. But we’re still in the $90 to $95 barrel range, so while there’s some relief there, it’s still a high price. So the price of crude could dictate where we bottom out as far as gas prices.”
An estimated 39 million people are driving to their destination, with an average distance traveled estimated at slightly more than 600 miles this year.