(GasBuddy) – When Americans hit the road this year for Thanksgiving family gatherings, 31% of us say we’ll be traveling over 500 miles and another 31% will travel between 200 and 500 miles. This year 92% of us are driving and just 6.5% say they’ll fly. But no matter how far we go or how much we think we save on gas… that doesn’t mean we’re looking for ways to spend it.
Of more than 81,000 Americans surveyed by GasBuddy this month, 71 percent said they expect to spend less on
Thanksgiving this year.
“The Thanksgiving holiday is such a deeply-rooted part of who we are that families will always do what it takes to bring everybody together regardless of fuel prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “But the mood we’re getting from our survey results suggests that notably lower gas prices have brought a sense of relief, perhaps some optimism, and also a sense of caution.”
Among those traveling more than 16% say that savings from lower gas prices is leading them to alter their plans. For some that may mean stretching the Thanksgiving holiday and/or, avoiding traffic.
GasBuddy Thanksgiving Survey: Key Findings
When do we go? 36% say their Thanksgiving travel begins on Thanksgiving Day. 30% said it starts the day before; 18% say they’re hitting the road 2 to 3 days before.
What about the return trip home? 25% say they’ll fight the tryptophan malaise and drive home later on Thanksgiving Day; but the majority, 42% say they’ll wait 2 to 3 days and drive home Saturday or Sunday. 22% of us expect to hit the road with a fresh start the next morning.
How well prepared are we? 95% of respondents have a smart phone. 52% say they use 2 to 3 travel apps for their Thanksgiving travels; 34% will actively use 4 or more apps.
How much are we saving? Economists say most of us have saved at least $500 since June. Among consumers who use the GasBuddy app, 43% say they save from 6 to 9 cents per gal. on every purchase; 26% say they save from 10 to 14 ents; and 10% say they save from 15 to 30 cents per gal. From Thanksgiving through the following Sunday, motorists collectively will save over $650 million on gasoline versus what they spent last Thanksgiving- or over $160 million a day.