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High gas prices causing some to rethink Thanksgiving travel plans

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:18 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - AAA says more than 48 million Americans will be traveling by car for Thanksgiving, and that drive is already underway for many. This year though, the trip may come with a bit of sticker shock when drivers go to fill up.

AAA reported on Tuesday that the average price in North Carolina for a gallon of regular gas is $3.20, up from $1.93 one year ago. Even so, the Highway Patrol says interstates will likely be busy over the next five day.

For drivers, the pay-off comes at the end of the trip.

“Family…and having a good thanksgiving dinner,” said Mitzi Davis of Hendersonville, stopping at the I-85 rest area in Cabarrus County.

The pay out comes at the gas pump. Gas prices are up over the last month and year. High enough now to make Mitzi Davis consider putting off the trip.

“I’m disabled and I’ve had a lot of back surgeries and different types of surgeries and when you’re disabled and you’re only living on a fixed income, it’s like do I go, or do I save the money and not go,” Davis said.

She ultimately decided to make the drive…so did Phyllis Chambers, all the way from New York.

“Right now I’m going to deal with the high gas prices because I prefer this to flying,” Davis said while filling up her tank at Alligood Tire and Alignment in Salisbury. “Driving is therapeutic for me.”

The president announced on Tuesday that the Department of Energy would release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s reserves. The announcement caused oil prices to drop 10%, according to the administration. That could make a difference of a few pennies off the price per gallon.

Not everyone on I-85 today was traveling for Thanksgiving.

“We’re traveling from Charlotte to Greensboro to visit a retirement center that we will be moving into shortly,” said Norma and Jimmy Dowless.

Norma and Jimmy will be spending the holiday with family close to home. Jimmy saves a few cents on every gallon through a local grocery chain and is thankful for that.

“It helps. Every penny helps,” Norma said.

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