This Thanksgiving journey season is shaping as much as be one for the file books, with tens of hundreds of thousands of People packing highways, flooding airports, and ultimately, filling their plates with turkey.

Even for Californians – who’re coping with eight months of gasoline costs topping $5 – the pocket-book-draining results of inflation are having little influence on choices to go to household and pals, which for a lot of are propelled by available COVID boosters.

“Fuel was cheaper in Hawaii than it’s right here,” mentioned Susan Hodge, a retired schoolteacher who just lately returned from a trip. Hodge crammed up her tank on Monday — at a money worth of $4.99 a gallon — and is planning to feed 20 individuals visiting her Berkeley house. “We’re all simply chopping and cooking,” she mentioned.

In complete, AAA is projecting 54.6 million individuals will journey over 50 miles this Thanksgiving, together with 7.3 million Californians, by airplane or automobile. “We thought this yr is perhaps totally different due to gasoline costs,” mentioned John Treanor, a spokesperson for AAA. “However actually we’re anticipating one of many busiest years in latest reminiscence.”

So how can a vacation traveler climate the mind-bending site visitors jams, packed airports and ache on the pump? A lot of the discomfort comes with vacation journey, however listed here are some helpful ideas that may assist.


The very best tip for drivers is to keep away from the inevitable site visitors armageddon on the Wednesday earlier than Thanksgiving and the Saturday after Thanksgiving, in keeping with Waze, a mapping utility that analyzes Bay Space site visitors. Congestion will get progressively worse main as much as the vacation after which takes a nose-dive on Thanksgiving day earlier than taking pictures again up on Saturday and Sunday.

Treanor of AAA added that early-bird and night time owl drivers can save time by avoiding the “coronary heart of the day” from 8 am to eight pm on peak journey days.

“If you’re a type of households that may simply get the espresso to go. Load the youngsters up actually early, possibly have them sleep a bit of bit within the morning, you’re going to save lots of your self an enormous headache,” he mentioned.

A buyer pumps gasoline on the Berkeley Fuel and Smog station in Berkeley, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (Photograph: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Space Information Group)

Keep away from freeway theft: 

Fuel costs have sunk about 60 cents over the previous months, however California’s common gas prices are nonetheless $5.25 a gallon. For drivers making the trek from San Jose to Los Angeles, the roundtrip will value $142 — about 12% greater than final yr.

One essential tip, say gasoline worth specialists, is to buy round earlier than your automobile hits empty. Within the Bay Space, the most affordable gasoline stations are sometimes small independently-owned areas, together with Costco when you have a membership.

“Don’t simply go to the primary station that you simply see,” mentioned Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum evaluation for GasBuddy, an organization that crowdsources gasoline worth information. DeHaan’s Gasbuddy app, together with Google search, supplies a great barometer of close by gasoline costs. “Know what costs are round you – it takes me 20 seconds,” he mentioned.

Jan Purat, 31, of Berkeley, pumps gas at the Berkeley Gas and Smog station in Berkeley, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Purat plans to travel for Thanksgiving by flying to Phoenix. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Jan Purat, 31, of Berkeley, pumps gasoline on the Berkeley Fuel and Smog station in Berkeley, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Purat plans to journey for Thanksgiving by flying to Phoenix. (Photograph: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Space Information Group)

Two stations on the I-5 hall between Los Angeles and the Bay Space can assist drivers keep away from freeway theft on the long-distance journey. Love’s Journey Cease in Misplaced Hills is promoting gasoline for $4.89 a gallon, as of Monday morning, together with $5.09 a gallon on the ARCO station in Buttonwillow — each north of the Grapevine.

A few of the least expensive gasoline stations within the East Bay are Berkeley’s Smog & Fuel and Mash Fuel & Meals in Orinda. San Jose has lengthy had the Bay Space’s greatest gasoline worth offers with three comparatively cheap gasoline stations clustered on the east aspect. An extended-standing worth conflict between two stations on the nook of McKee Street and North thirty third Avenue helps preserve costs down.

There’s yet another tip from DeHaan for drivers seeking to save a couple of further pennies: wait. Fuel costs are anticipated to proceed dropping by way of Thanksgiving and into December. “Come Wednesday nearly all of stations are going to be cheaper than the place they’re at present,” mentioned DeHaan. “We must always proceed to see the tempo of decline accelerating.”


The Bay Space’s three main airports in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland expect lengthy strains and a flood of passengers this week as air journey bounces again to close pre-pandemic ranges.

At Mineta San Jose Worldwide Airport, passenger site visitors is now at its highest stage since 2019 with over 438,000 passengers count on to move by way of their doorways within the 12 days between Friday, Nov. 18 and Tuesday, Nov. 29. Airport employees suggest arriving 2 hours early for home flights and checking the real-time parking availability utilizing their web site

“With a bit of advance planning, vacation journey by way of Mineta San José Worldwide ought to be straightforward as pie,” John Aitken, the airport’s aviation director, mentioned in a press release.

San Francisco Worldwide is anticipating 5 million vacationers between Thanksgiving and New Yr’s Day – about 85% of the 2019 journey ranges, whereas Oakland’s airport will attain 90% of pre-pandemic ranges.

Together with packed airports, vacationers are additionally coping with the rising prices of airline tickets, which in contrast to gasoline costs aren’t getting any cheaper earlier than the vacations.

“It’s fairly costly,” mentioned Jan Purat, a Berkeley musician, who booked a flight for early Thursday morning to see his household in Phoenix. “I had to decide on the worst time as a result of that’s what I may afford.”