COLORADO SPRINGS — Gas prices are at a ten year high heading into the busy Thanksgiving travel season, and travelers are paying attention. The average price is near $3.50 a gallon.
Gas was at $2.15 a gallon at this time a year ago. That is $43 for a 20-gallon tank. This year at $3.50, the total is $70 for a 20-gallon fill-up.
The average car gets around 25 miles to the gallon. Comparing this year to last, drivers are paying an extra $27 to go 500 miles.
Skyler McKinley with AAA Colorado said studies show $3.50 a gallon gets the attention of drivers, but likely will not deter travel plans. "That's the point where folks say I'm going to reduce my travel plans. I'm still going to travel, I'll probably still travel the same distance, but some of the frills are going to fall off my travel." McKinley said $4.00 a gallon is when a lot more drivers decide to stay off the road.
This year there is another factor contributing to travel decisions. A year ago in 2020, Thanksgiving travel was at a record low because of the pandemic. Now in 2021, vaccinations have boosted confidence in getting together with others for the holiday. A lot of people are willing to pay extra to spend time with family and friends they missed a year ago.