Low Gas Prices Are This Season's Gift That Keeps On Giving

AAA predicts gas prices will fall even lower in the coming days as the travel season heats up.

Tabby cat with head out a moving car window.
(Image credit: Arseniy45, Getty Images)

As prices continue to rise on just about everything, gas has become the best bargain in town.

According to AAA, gas prices are “sleighing” this travel season — That is, they are within a penny of the 2022 low of $3.09. What’s more, they are expected to drop even further in the coming days as we inch closer to the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday travel period.

“It is likely that the national average will slide below $3 per gallon by the end of the year,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement.

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Not all gas prices are falling at the same rates nationwide, however. People traveling in Michigan and Florida, for example, will find prices have dropped 17 cents since last week. In Montana, Washington D.C. and Kentucky prices fell 12 cents in the same time period. The report contradicts AAA's earlier prediction that prices would start to rise.

It’s no surprise then that people are getting in their cars in record numbers. AAA reported a 2.3% increase in holiday travel during Thanksgiving this year compared to last. The automotive organization forecast that 104 million Americans will drive during the 10 day period between December 23, 2023 and January 1, 2024, a 2.2% increase over 2022 and the second-highest year-end forecast since 2000 when AAA began tracking holiday travel.

Busiest days to be on the road

As expected, more people on the road (along with the potential for some messy weather in the days leading up to Christmas) means more potential for traffic. According to AAA, using data from transportation data and insight provider INRIX, Saturday, December 23 and Thursday, December 28 are expected to be the two busiest days on the road. 

Other considerations to keep in mind as you get on the road are other travelers. A December 2023 study from app GasBuddy found that U.S. drivers are up to 48% more aggressive on the roads during the holiday season.

“Aggressive driving can negatively impact fuel efficiency, causing drivers to waste money that could be spent on holiday celebrations or gifts for loved ones,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

AAA has a travel planner with maps, directions and gas prices along your route, and apps like GasBuddy can help you locate and pay for the least expensive gas.


Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.