Each holiday season, millions of Americans will hop in a car, book a flight, or take a train to go see family and friends for the festivities.
Just before Thanksgiving until the day after the New Year is some of the most traveled days each year. But how will gas prices impact the holiday travel season? Will travelers stay at home or will they hit the road in droves?
The team here at LYT shares!
Gas & Holiday Travel – How it Will Look this Year!
Nearly half of all Americans will travel for the holidays, either for Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, or another holiday that falls during that time.
Similar to the summer months when gas prices tend to rise, many might expect an increase in demand and price for gasoline. Compared to gas prices in early 2022, the national average gas price at the time of writing is $3.53 (at its peak price, it was $4.99).
Perspective is reality, and while many would still consider $3.53 per gallon a steep price to pay at the pump when compared to nearly $5 per gallon, fewer are worried about saving, and more are interested in traveling.
A PWC consumer study showed the annual consumer will spend $452 on holiday travel this season. And while the top concern listed on the survey was the rising fuel prices, there doesn’t appear to be any shortage of travel this season.
Data points to previous COVID restrictions/limitations as one reason why many are ready to hit the road and less worried about saving. For some, seeing family hasn’t been an option since 2019.
People will be on the road and in the air this year for the holiday season and while gas prices are a concern, they don’t appear to be stopping most! So we have a few tips to help you save and stay safe.
1. Plan your trip
While this seems like a no-brainer, be sure always to plan out your trip and factor in stops, departure times, and arrival times. Whether you are driving or riding, you will want to have a plan. If you own an EV, be sure to track EV charging stations along the way.
Be Prepared For delays.
The day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are two of the most traveled days in the United States. Depending on what Day Christmas Eve and Christmas fall, you can experience heavier than normal traffic when people set out to visit family.
Knowing this, it is important to consider the added traffic volume and be prepared for delays.
Give priority to emergency vehicles
Everyone wants to experience a safe trip, but if you see emergency vehicles responding to an accident, be sure to give them a priority.
An increase in emergency vehicle preemption technology has helped cut emergency response times down in larger cities, but when it comes to traffic jams, you can still do your part. Do your best to refrain from rubbernecking, and be sure to slow down and proceed with caution in the event of an emergency.
Set a budget
Inflation is out of control. When you travel, be sure to set a budget.
While you can only plan so much for fuel costs and the actual travel expenses if you are not staying with family/friends or you plan on eating out – be sure to have a budget. High gas prices are one thing, but hotel stays, dining, and entertainment can quickly set you back as you start the new year.
Note: This blog post is part of our on-the-road series, designed to help motorists, traffic managers, and everyone in between with common road safety tips & transportation information. Got a question or topic you would like to know more about? Reach out to us and let us know!