Nov 17, 2023 - News

Holiday travel: Houston gas prices dip, airports to break record

Data: GasBuddy; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: GasBuddy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Filling up your gas tank in Houston keeps getting more affordable, just in time for Thanksgiving holiday travel.

Driving the news: The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the metro area dropped to $2.80 this month, down 60 cents from this year's high in August, according to GasBuddy.

  • Houston remains one of the least expensive cities for gas at 58 cents less than the national average.

Zoom out: Gas prices nationwide declined significantly over the same period, though they remain above the lows seen early this year.

  • Houston saw its most affordable gas prices in January, at $2.72.

Between the lines: Seasonal factors, including the switch to winter gasoline, are contributing to the dip, per GasBuddy.

The big picture: Prices are dropping nationwide just as more people plan to hit the road for the holiday season.

  • At least 41% of people say they plan on making a road trip this year, up 8% from 2022, according to a Thanksgiving travel survey by GasBuddy.

What we're watching: The national average could fall another 10 to 20 cents this month and in December, so long as the violence in the Middle East does not spread or jump to other countries, GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Houston Airport System is expecting to set new travel records this Thanksgiving, estimating 2.4 million passengers for the holiday season, which would surpass the passenger total set in 2019.

  • William P. Hobby Airport expects 540,000 travelers and George Bush Intercontinental Airport expects more than 1.8 million travelers. Combined, the airports are anticipating a 6% increase from the same period in 2019 and an 11% increase from 2022, per Houston Airports.

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