This holiday season industry observers predict Americans will travel even more by car, skipping other traditional means of travel – trains and planes. The reason – cheap gasoline.
This holiday season the drivers that need or want to travel by car will be sharing the highways with many others as gasoline prices continue to sink below the $3 per gallon average. According to forecasts coming from Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc., holiday travelers this year would be using their car in an overwhelming proportion – drivers would make up 89.5 % of the mix, while air passengers – for example – would fall to 7.5%. Back in 2013 estimates put 39.6 million people traveling by car for Thanksgiving and in 2014 the total should rise by another 40,000 people.
When it comes to car-over-plane travel choices, going for the comfortable but fatiguing car ride is made easier by the fact that airline prices have no intention to come down as steep as gas did. In fact, data compiled by industry groups points out that while oil prices drops also took down wholesale jet fuel prices by 17% since August (car gas prices dropped 18%) airfares have actually gone up 3.4% over the same period. Meanwhile, gas prices hover around the $2.875 a gallon average – the lowest seasonally in half a decade.