Travel up this holiday

More drivers will hit the road over Thanksgiving weekend

An estimated 3.5 million Californians plan to drive 50 miles—or farther—during Thanksgiving weekend, according to AAA Northern California. That’s an 8 percent jump compared to the four-day holiday of 2008.

Fortunately for drivers, gas prices around the state are down an average of 4 cents a gallon from last month. The least expensive prices in Northern California are in Chico. The average price locally, according to a recent survey by AAA, is $2.84 per gallon for unleaded. (The lowest price, according to, was at Costco, at $2.62 a gallon as of Tuesday.) Even in most metro areas with high-priced fuel, the average price has fallen below $3.

Representatives from AAA attribute the recent drop to vast oil reserves and weak consumer demand, possibly due to the nation’s skyrocketing unemployment rate. Still, the price is a marked increase from this time last year, when a gallon of unleaded cost an average of $2.55.