IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – As Idaho drivers fuel up for the Thanksgiving weekend, they may have a few extra dollars to get started on holiday shopping.
According to AAA, Wednesday's average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.69, which is six cents less than a week ago, 25 cents less than a month ago, and 49 cents less than a year ago. Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.28 per gallon, which is seven cents less than a week ago, 27 cents less than a month ago, and 36 cents less than a year ago.
“The seasonal drop was slow to arrive, but now that it’s happening, hanging on to some hard-earned money over the holidays gives new meaning to the idea of leftovers,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “Barring the unexpected, the trend may continue through the end of the year.”
Today, Idaho ranks 7th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($4.94), Hawaii ($4.74), Washington ($4.42), Nevada ($4.23), Oregon ($4.08), and Alaska ($3.99). 12 states are currently under the $3 mark, with Texas leading the way at $2.75 per gallon.
Here’s a seven-year retrospective on Thanksgiving Day gas prices in the Gem State:
“Without question, we would all like pump prices to be cheaper than they are right now,” Conde said. “But with an additional 1 million people expected on the roads this holiday weekend, more opportunities appear to be opening up for families to celebrate the season together.”
AAA predicts 55.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. Wednesday afternoon will be very busy, both on the roads and at the airport. Travelers can anticipate longer commutes and TSA screening lines at times throughout the holiday season.
AAA travel tips
- Download the AAA Mobile app to find the cheapest fuel and the location of EV charging stations along your route, to find the best route for your trip, or to book a last-minute hotel.
- Download the airline app for the latest information on flights, including delays or gate changes.
- Use covered airport parking to combat the effects of inclement weather, and park in a well-lit, secure area. Take a photo of your parking location before you leave your car.
- Give yourself extra time to drive to your destination or to get through a TSA line. Avoid speeding to make up for lost time.
- Avoid checking luggage if possible. Pack medications, important documents, and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag.
- Double check flight status, traffic, and weather conditions before heading out.
- Be kind. Many employees and travelers experience extra stress during the holidays.
Emergency kit essentials
Now is a good time to update your vehicle’s emergency kit and adapt it for winter use. AAA recommends that an emergency kit include the following:
- A collapsible shovel, and sand or kitty litter, if you’re traveling to remote areas where roads are less likely to be maintained
- Jumper cables and basic tools
- A first aid kit (replace expired items as needed)
- Blankets, extra warm clothing, and a towel or tarp
- Flares, reflectors, and a flashlight with extra batteries
- Washer fluid with de-icing properties
- Water and protein-based snacks for people and pets
A roadside incident can happen at any time. Drivers are required to slow down below the speed limit when overtaking a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights and, if possible, move over at least one lane for first responders and tow truck operators to safely do their job.
Apple SOS roadside assistance – powered by AAA
Apple recently added emergency road service, powered by AAA, through its SOS system, which enables drivers to receive help via satellite connection in places where regular cell service and Wi-Fi aren’t available. iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 users with iOS 16.1 or later can request roadside assistance through the service. While both AAA members and non-members can request assistance, non-members will pay for services at the time they are provided.
“There are still plenty of rural places in the West where cell phone coverage can be a challenge,” Conde said. “As always, we’re happy to come to the rescue.”