Why we could see highest-ever gas prices this Thanksgiving, experts say

Richmonder: 'If I had to travel, it definitely wouldn’t be by car'
California High Gas Prices
Posted at 11:46 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 12:30:47-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The increase in gas prices has many Virginians opting out of traveling for the holidays. Right now, the average price of gas in the Richmond area is $3.25 a gallon.

"We're only two cents a gallon away from reaching potentially the highest Thanksgiving Day prices ever," explained Patrick De Haan, petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.

According to experts, demand is driving prices up. This time last year, gas was $1.25 cheaper on average. A recent GasBuddy survey shows 51 percent of Americans cited high gas prices for reducing their travel plans.

"It's tough," explained Richmonder Alvin Bulanadi. "If I had to travel, it definitely wouldn’t be by car. It would be something where I would actually travel on a train or plane and make the travel actually worth it, not just driving."

But many Virginians are still willing to pay those high prices at the pump. AAA predicts 1.3 million Virginia drivers will hit the road for Thanksgiving, nearly returning to the prepandemic levels

"When you want to go see your family, you gotta go see your family," said Frank Lester of Richmond.

Lester decided to fill up his tank before heading to see his daughter in Maryland because gas there is 10 cents higher a gallon on average.

"I got the gas cash app to save and find the lowest gas, so that’s the only way to travel," Lester said. "I tell everyone to get that gas app because as you can see, the prices are going up."

Unfortunately, experts don't expect gas prices to drop until early or mid 2022, but there are a few ways to save at the pump.

Experts say first, use an app like Waze or GasBuddy to find the cheapest prices near you. Second, pay with cash or a rewards card to save money per gallon. Finally, cut your cruise control down five to ten miles an hour because they say that can actually save you 15 to 20 percent more miles per tank.

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