SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - It's the Fourth of July and, for many, that means spending the holiday weekend traveling. And with gas prices at their lowest since 2005, the American Automobile Association estimates that more people than ever will travel this Independence Day.
Out of the 43 million people expected to travel this holiday weekend, 84% of them will be driving to their destinations, says AAA, adding that this is an increase of 1.2% over last year.
A big reason for the rise in driving is low gas prices, which have remained well below average compared to years past, despite the recent seasonal increase.
According to GasBuddy.com, the average price nationwide is around $2.30/gallon, dropping from $2.78/gallon last year at this time. In Mississippi, drivers were paying $2.50/gallon on average, whereas this summer, that number has went down to around $2.00/gallon.
On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the price of gas is even lower in most places, dipping down to $1.85/gallon in Gulfport. However, the average price of gas across the coast remains $1.97/gallon.
According to AAA, drivers in the U.S. have saved around $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to last year, making travel more affordable and boosting holiday trips.
"We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel," said AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney in a press release. "This trend is welcome news for the travel industry and a sign that Americans are taking to our nation's highways and skies like never before."
If you are on the road and want to find the lowest prices, don't forget, you can use the WLOX app on your smart phone or tablet.
When you open the app, just click on the menu button in the top left corner of the screen. Scroll down on the menu to the gas prices section, and you'll find a complete list of gas stations in Biloxi and Gulfport.
The list has the lowest prices at the top, and also tells you exactly where to find each station. To find gas prices in other cities around the coast, just click the link at the bottom of the app.