Falling fuel prices making travel cheaper

November 24, 2008 3:32:44 PM PST
Holiday travel is becoming more affordable thanks to the plunging price of oil. Drivers are paying less and flyers are finding some bargain fares. Few thought the cost of a gallon of gas would so quickly fall below $2 in some areas, but that has been the case, and with a very poor economy, the decline in gas prices couldn't have come at a better time.

The price for a gallon of gas is dropping almost daily and is now at nearly a four-year low. Even with the economic downturn, a lot of people are traveling for the holidays.

"We are going to Indiana. We are going to Michigan for Christmas. Family is more important than gas prices, I guess," said Katie McCartney, holiday traveler.

"The only traveling I am doing is out to the suburbs and no different than any other year," said Myrna Miller, holiday traveler.

"No, I haven't changed my plans at all," said John Moore, holiday traveler.

While many of us are still visiting relatives for Thanksgiving, the overall number of people traveling is slightly lower than last year.

"Air travel is also getting a lot more reasonable. Airfares from Chicago during the holidays has plummeted 25 percent to an average cost of $264. Still, a lot of people are avoiding flying because of all of the extra fees," said Lisa Duryea, AAA field manager.

Air travel is also getting a lot more reasonable. Air fares from Chicago during the holidays has plummeted 25 percent to an average cost of $264.

Still, a lot of people are avoiding flying because of all the extra fees.

"I would rather drive than fly," said Tommy Sloan, holiday traveler.

With gasoline prices now less than half what they were this summer it has become much more economical to drive. But, with unemployment at a 14-year high and a lot of people feeling insecure about their job, a lot of folks are just hunkering down for the holidays or finding more affordable ways to travel.

"They are taking trains or buses. Cost of rental cars have typically gone up. Overall, we are seeing a decline in the price of hotels," Duryea said.

Even though fewer people will be traveling, there is still going to be major congestion on the expressways and delays at the airport Wednesday afternoon.

Give yourself plenty of time because you are going to need patience with millions of people expected to travel.


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