GasBuddy Heat Map
The number of Americans hitting the road will barely change, according to an unscientific survey of GasBuddy users. In a poll run in the days ahead of Thanksgiving, 8% of respondents said they would be traveling "a little" or "a lot" more for holiday gatherings than they did last year. That number is slightly lower than last year, when 9% of respondents said they would drive a little or a lot more than 2010.

Looking at the poll a different way, 17% of respondents said they would not be driving at all for holiday gatherings this year, up from 15% the previous year. Perhaps the largest shift in numbers this year was a 4% drop in the number of respondents indicating they would be driving less than last year. 18% of people surveyed this year said they would be driving less than last year, when 22% of people indicated such.

As for gasoline prices, the national average is virtually guaranteed to be the highest compared to past Thanksgiving Days:
2012: $3.41/gal (estimated)
2011: $3.34/gal
2010: $2.87/gal
2009: $2.65/gal
2008: $1.84/gal

As for California motorists, they've easily seen the biggest drop in their prices compared to anyone else. Prices there have shed an average of 70c/gal in the last month alone, and believe it or not, California averages may fall under their last year value just in time for Thanksgiving.

To start this week, oil prices are shooting up, and gasoline futures are also up slightly. We may see a jump in price in the Great Lakes ahead of Thanksgiving Day, but at this point it is definitely not certain. Stay tuned to GasBuddy's blog and our Facebook page to get an alert should a hike appear imminent.