Filling up will be less painful than usual this Thanksg... Filling up will be less painful than usual this Thanksgiving (Credit: KOMUnews, Flickr).
Although gas prices have been steadily declining over the past few days, and seem reasonable compared with $4.00-plus pump prices, it looks like travelers will see a record high for Thanksgiving weekend this year.

AAA has estimated that around 44 million people will travel for Thanksgiving this year, 90% of whom will do so by car. All of those extra drivers on the road will surely amount to some added stress on your trip, but there is one area that you'll actually find some alleviation: Gas prices.

Relative to the past few weeks and months, gas prices are actually down right now, with the national average at $3.43 per gallon of regular unleaded gas.

"As we approach Thanksgiving, the national average has taken quite a drop, dropping close to 30 cents in the last month," Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with GasBuddy, told ABC News. "Certainly that has been a nice decrease, but the national average still will likely set an all-time Thanksgiving Day high."

The $3.43 average is, indeed, a record high for Thanksgiving. The average price for a gallon of gas this time last year was $3.34.

But with all of the added stress and frustration that can come with holiday travel, most drivers will take the small drop in gas prices as a point of relief. After all, with food preparation, traffic jams and crazy relatives, who really wants to get hosed at the pump, too?

Drivers in California will feel especially happy about the current state of the cost of gas, as prices have dropped a whopping $0.77 per gallon over the past four weeks alone, according to GasBuddy.com. The decline comes after the state experienced some remarkable price hikes, where some areas saw prices of more than $6.00 per gallon due to low gasoline supplies, low fuel production, a year of numerous refinery outages and exports of fuel to overseas customers.

All in all, though, we shouldn't get our hopes up too high for any further decreases in fuel prices. DeHaan said that despite the recent drops, he doesn't expect the trend to continue much longer.


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