An annual travel survey showed 41% of respondents plan to take a drive over the holiday week, an 8% increase from last year.
More Americans are gearing up to hit the highways for Thanksgiving, inspired by a notable decrease in fuel costs, according to GasBuddy's 2023 Thanksgiving Travel Survey.
Forty-one percent of respondents are set to embark on a journey---an 8% increase in planned road trips compared to 2022, buoyed by a promising drop in the national average price of gas to $3.25 per gallon.
This decrease in fuel prices is anticipated to save holiday travelers a substantial $573 million compared to last year's expenses.
"Average gas prices have plummeted in all 50 states in the weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, with $2.99 prices spreading like wildfire just in time for the start of the holiday season," said Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis. "Drivers will be saving over half a billion dollars from Wednesday through Sunday compared to what they spent last Thanksgiving with the national average at its lowest since January."
The survey also revealed a shift in travel habits and preferences. While 19% of respondents opted out of travel due to budget constraints linked to inflation, a lesser number of individuals (36%) reported their plans being affected by high prices than in the previous year, indicating a growing sense of economic relief among travelers.
Gas prices have emerged as the primary consideration for Americans when choosing pitstops, overtaking last year's priority of convenience and location. Moreover, more than half of the survey's respondents (55%) are planning to use cash back or loyalty programs to further economize on fuel expenses during their travels.
The survey also sheds light on evolving attitudes towards electric vehicles (EVs): 39% of Americans expressed heightened interest in owning an EV, a trend most pronounced among the 18-29 age group, where 44% showed increased interest.
The survey was conducted with 6,359 users between Nov. 2 and 6. The survey period for Thanksgiving travel is defined as Monday, Nov. 20, through Sunday, Nov. 26.
GasBuddy's recommendations for additional savings include prudent shopping for the best fuel prices and adopting driving habits that optimize fuel efficiency. These include avoiding hard braking, rapid acceleration and speeding. The free Pay with GasBuddy card offers a savings of up to 25¢ per gallon on every fill-up.