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Thanksgiving travelers to deal with high gas prices

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Travelers preparing to hit the road toward their Thanksgiving destinations will likely encounter average gasoline prices at their highest seasonal level ever for the weekend, according to GasBuddy.

According to a news release from Nov. 15, the national average is projected to stand at $3.68 on Thanksgiving Day, nearly 30 cents higher than last year and over 20 cents higher than the previous record of $3.44 set in 2012. 

GasBuddy analyzed 1,314 responses to its 2022 Thanksgiving Travel Survey from Nov. 5 to Nov. 9.

However, GasBuddy states those prices don’t seem to be slowing down travel, with more Americans planning to hit the road this year. The news release states the number of Americans planning to travel over the weekend is up from 32% last year to 38% this year. Sixty-two percent of Americans are not planning on road-tripping for Thanksgiving, and 21% say they are choosing not to drive due to high fuel prices.

GasBuddy states travelers can expect between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday and between 8 to 11 a.m. Friday to be the busiest on the nation’s highways.

“It has been a dizzying year at the pump, with motorists likely feeling nauseous not from the eggnog, but from the roller coaster ride at the pump with record gasoline prices earlier this year, which have fallen significantly since mid-summer,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the release. “Americans, however, are proving that while we’ll openly complain about high gas prices, most of us aren’t deterred from taking to the highways to observe Thanksgiving with those that matter most to us, especially as precautions from the pandemic have eased.”

GasBuddy offered several money-saving tips for motorists on the road this holiday season:

• Shop around for the best prices. The first gas station you see isn’t always the cheapest and driving a few extra blocks can save drivers upwards of 30 cents per gallon. 

• Slow down on the road. Aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking can cost drivers hundreds of extra dollars per year in fuel consumption.

• Watch out for state lines. Differences in state and local taxes can make filling up cheaper or more expensive if you’re crossing state lines on your trip. 

Average gasoline prices in Missouri have fallen 8.7 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.25 per gallon Monday, Nov. 21, according to GasBuddy's survey of 3,940 stations in Missouri. Prices in Missouri are 17.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 18 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. 

Locally, gas prices on Monday, Nov. 21 ranged from $3.14 to $3.29 at gas stations across Warrensburg.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Missouri was priced at $2.66 per gallon Sunday, Nov. 20, while the most expensive was $4.09. The lowest price in the state Sunday was $2.66 per gallon, while the highest was $4.09.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 11.9 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.64 per gallon Monday, Nov. 21. The national average is down 16.4 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 24.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

"What an incredible turnaround in the last week. While a decline was expected in more states than last week, I didn't expect every single state to hop on the bandwagon so quickly. But, it's terrific news as motorists prepare for Thanksgiving travel, with tens of thousands of stations under $3 per gallon, and thousands more to join in the next few weeks, barring a dramatic turnaround," De Haan said in Monday’s news release. 

"Everyone will be seeing relief at the pump this week, with even more substantial declines on the way as oil prices plummeted last week to briefly trade under $80 per barrel. It's not impossible that if oil markets hold here, we could see a national average of $2.99 around Christmas, certainly the gift that every motorist is hoping for. Drivers shouldn't be in a rush to fill up as prices will come down nearly coast-to-coast into the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday."

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