Low Gas Prices Help Holiday Travel

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- Wednesday was one of the busiest days for Thanksgiving travel. AAA said nearly 37 percent of people traveling for the holiday already hit the road and part of that is because gas prices have dropped $1 since Memorial Day.

Annie Lee has a six-hour drive ahead of her to Minnesota. She said the extra savings at the pump makes their travels a little easier.

"This is a good time to go if the prices are little bit cheaper, but I think we would make the trip no matter what," said Lee.

AAA projects more than 44 million people will travel for Thanksgiving. 90 percent will get there by car. About 7 percent will fly.

"We flew into Phoenix from Bakersfield and then Phoenix to Omaha and it was great. It was very smooth," said Jillian Stump, visiting from California for the holiday.

However, for many, it might not be so smooth getting back home. The National Weather Service said possible snow storms on the east coast could be a setback.

"Coming back home we're not lucky enough to fly direct we're going through Minneapolis, so there's always concerns about delays," said Stacy Keene, who will be flying back to Omaha from Washington D.C.

Lee said even though she's driving, she's also concerned about weather delays on the road, "We'll just have to see, we'll come back down on Saturday or Sunday, so we'll have to see what the weather is like."

She said at least gas prices are one thing she won't have to worry about.

"Now that we're only three to six hours that's pretty close, so we make sure we get up there," said Lee.

AAA said holiday gas prices haven't been this low since 2010. The prices are expected to stay around $3 through the rest of the year. AAA said Sunday will also be a busy day for travel. About 33 percent of those travelers expect to return home that day.