Falling Gas Prices Make For Record Number Of Holiday Travelers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s on track to be the busiest holiday for travel ever, and the American Auto Association (AAA) says you can credit that to falling gas prices.

The national average for a gallon of gas is now under $2 a gallon. That is the lowest prices have been since 2009.

Not only are the gas prices contributing to record travel for the holiday — the AAA says the time from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3 will be the busiest days of travel, ever.

Brad Durfee of Little Falls has been driving to Woodbury each Christmas for the last 30 years.

“Gotta do both sides of the family each holiday, so it puts us on the road,” he said. “I keep joking, ‘When do we get to stay home?!’”

Christmas Eve is notoriously a busy day for travel. The number of people traveling has been going up each holiday season for the last seven years.

Triple A says more than 100 million Americans will be traveling this year — a new record.

“It’s certainly nice to see that gas pump not go up so high, dollar-wise,” Durfee said.

Gas prices have dipped below $2 a gallon on average across the country. Here in Minnesota, the average is sitting at $1.87.

With 90 percent of travlers taking their cars, the savings add up — maybe even to add a few more gifts under the Christmas tree.

“We’ll probably spend a little bit more than normal,” Natalie Wiste of Starbuck said.

AAA predicts gas prices will continue to fall after the New Year. But whether they’re up or down, family traditions never change.

AAA says the cost of crude oil is low right now — hence the falling gas prices. However, it will likely start going up when they switch over to summer grade fuel sometime in late March.

This article was originally written by Kate Raddatz for CBSMinnesota.com.

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