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AAA projects spike in Thanksgiving travel

Drivers are expected to take to the road despite the rise in gas prices.
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:29 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Ahead of Thanksgiving Day, AAA projects a jump in holiday travel across the country.

After last year’s aggressive dip in holiday travel, it is bouncing back with plenty of people getting to airports and taking to the road. AAA projects 53.4 million people will travel for Thanksgiving, a 13% jump from last year.

And as more people plan to travel, gas prices continue to rise. Across the country, the average per gallon is $3.40, an increase of nearly $1.30 from last year. In Wisconsin, the average gallon runs at $3.11, up roughly a $1.20 from the previous year. AAA says there will be plenty of drivers on the road despite the rise in gas across the state and country.

The company estimates roughly nine out of every 10 travelers will drive for their Thanksgiving travel. Nick Jarmusz of AAA says that is pretty common for Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is an auto holiday, about 90% of people will be hitting the road in their car,” said Jarmusz. “People will find a way to absorb that extra cost and still make it home for the holidays.”

But he adds that mapping out where you are going, and the gas averages in a given state or region can help you plan where you can save money and where you can avoid the gas pump.

“One of the biggest things you can do is slow down,” said Jarmusz. “Your vehicle is going to get more fuel efficiency if you drive closer to the speed limit, than if your are driving closer to 70, 80 mph.”

Jarmusz also says nearby states like Illinois and Minnesota average higher gas prices, along with a vast majority of the western side of the state. He suggests filling up here before the trip.

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