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Winter storms won’t hinder southern travel

Published 8:22pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

As usual, the holiday season of Thanksgiving will bring a busy season of drivers traveling to see family and friends, as well as hitting the roads for the annual Black Friday sales.

Clay Ingram, Public Relations & Marketing Manager AAA Alabama, said the number of drivers traveling this Thanksgiving holiday will be down slightly, but there will still be millions hitting the road this year.

“On the national level, we’re expecting 43.5 million people traveling a distance of 50 miles or more during the travel holiday week,” Ingram said. “That’s about 1.5 percent less than last year, but that’s really not enough to notice for those out there traveling.”

While winter storms are causing travel issues on the roads and in the air across the northern United States, Ingram said cold weather and falling temperatures in the South should not hinder drivers too much.

“The weather situation may actually drop that number down a little bit on a national level, but it probably won’t have much of an impact on the people traveling in Alabama,” Ingram said. “We will be out and about just like we were planning to do, I think, despite the weather front that’s coming through.”
Ingram added that Alabama will see a large number of travelers preparing for weekend festivities, as well as those traveling through the state toward another destination.

“Alabama gets a lot of drive-through traffic of people from up north to Florida, going from North Carolina to Oklahoma or whatever,” Ingram said. “In addition to that, we will have all the holiday shopping traffic through the weekend and the Iron Bowl on Saturday, too. All that stuff combined is going to make for some really busy highways no matter where you’re going.”

In a few places across the state, including Alexander City, gas prices had gotten as low as $2.99 a gallon, but Ingram said there are still cheaper prices to be found this travel season despite an uptick in the state average.

“A week ago, our state average was $3.10 a gallon. Today, it’s $3.19 per gallon. That’s a pretty big jump even for a Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” Ingram said. “There are still a fair number of stations out there that are reasonably priced. Unfortunately, there are some gas stations out there that have decided to bump their prices up to take advantage of the travel weekend. There are some that have continue to price reasonably, and we should reward them by making gas purchases there.”

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