Why Americans can expect to save on gas this Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:44 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) - This week, it’s time to hit the road for Thanksgiving, and one thing the millions of Americans driving cross country are probably thankful for is cheaper gas prices.

For some families, the drop in gas prices is the main reason they’re traveling to see family this year. Gas prices have been steadily dropping the last couple of months, but when you’re driving to other states, that extra dollar per gallon you don’t have to spend goes a long way.

“It’s a lot easier traveling since gas is $1 less than what it was a year ago,” Dan Underwood said as he headed west on I-70 toward Denver.

Underwood is among the more than 49 million Americans traveling by car this Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

“We did not go the last two years because of gas prices,” Underwood said.

This time around, Underwood felt it was easier to get into the Thanksgiving spirit because of the lower prices at the pump.

“Definitely thankful for lower prices and being able to get out and about now,” Underwood explained. “I’m retired so it’s nice to be able to get around.”

After getting on the road in St. Louis, Paige Banet and her husband noticed this trip to the West Coast was much more affordable.

“It makes it a lot easier probably because we traveled to Oregon at the beginning of the summer and it was a lot more expensive,” Banet said. “So this makes it affordable for sure. We saw it for like $2.75 on Highway 70.”

“Americans collectively between today and Sunday when they travel are going to be spending about $1.2 billion less on gas than what they spent last year,” Gas Buddy Analyst Patrick De Hann added.

Research from GasBuddy shows the average price per gallon around Kansas City, Kansas, is about $2.70, while Kansas City, Missouri, sits around $2.82. De Hann attributed that to fewer people driving overall in the Winter, leading to more supply.

“Please do enjoy these prices when you hit the road because prices may get modestly higher if OPEC does decide to do production cuts,” De Hann told KCTV 5 News.

Analysis at Gas Buddy estimates prices to hit the lowest they’ll get this year about a week from now before we see them shoot up again. To search for the best gas prices or calculate how much you’ll spend driving cross country, click here.