Rose White, at AAA-Iowa, says those who are planning trips will be in good company. “Nearly 51-million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving,” White says. “That’s reflecting a 3.3% increase over last year.
The 2017 holiday weekend will see the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2005 with 1.6-million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared to last year.” While surveys find about nine in ten Iowans will be driving to their destinations next week, those who are flying are seeing the lowest average airfares since 2013.
White says the price to fly is way down from Thanksgiving a year ago. “Airfare rates have actually dropped about 23% compared to last year,” White says. “Checks of the major markets across the U.S. show average airfare rates average around $157 round-trip.” It’s a different story for motorists, though, as gasoline prices are up almost 50 cents a gallon from a year ago, so it’ll cost a good deal more to fill the tank.
“U.S. gas inventories are currently down in the U.S. about 5% compared to last year,” White says. “The lower inventories coupled with the strong demand has caused the increase, however we are expecting prices to start retreating in the next couple of weeks due to the positive numbers that we’re seeing for crude oil prices right now.”
The average price for gas in Iowa is $2.53 a gallon, up from $2.06 a year ago. The current national average is slightly higher than Iowa’s at $2.55.