BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Travelers are on the road this weekend for Thanksgiving.
The American Automobile Association says over 55 million people will travel 50 miles or more Thanksgiving weekend. Manuel Hernandez and his family is traveling from Colorado to Fort Myers, Florida, to visit family for Thanksgiving.
“Generally, we’ll fly,” Hernandez said. “But with them being this age, we decided to make it a road trip memory.”
They stopped at Buc-ee’s on Sunday to gas up and take a break before finishing the rest their 11-hour trip.
AAA spokesperson Clay Ingram said for travelers hitting the road, gas prices statewide are below $3 a gallon.
“We’re down to $2.94,” Ingram said. “That 17 cents less than it was a month ago and 37 cents down than it was last year.”
“It’s not as expensive as I thought it was going to be, but we also made sure we hit up Costco and Buc-ee’s on our way,” Hernandez said.
Ingram said no matter what the gas prices are, it won’t stop people from traveling to see their loved ones for Thanksgiving.
“Most people will just bite the bullet and pay those prices and find some other way to make up for those added expenses,” Ingram said. “But having them below $3 a gallon makes it easier for everybody.”
While many travelers will be on the roadways for Thanksgiving, others will be traveling by air. Ingram said there will be a 6.6% increase in air travel this Thanksgiving.
Birmingham Airport Authority spokesperson Kim Hunt said the increase is good for Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
“We’re going to see this for the next 10 days, and it will continue into the later part of December,” Hunt said. “People will be traveling for Christmas and New Year’s, which is also an extended period where travel will be a little heavier than normal.”
Ingram said this year’s Thanksgiving travels is on pace to be the third busiest of all time.