More people driving this Thanksgiving with changes at the pump

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -  Prices are a lot less painful at the pump for travelers these days.

"The prices have been real good lately considering the four dollar a gallon we were paying a while back," says R.J. Stone of Stuart, Florida.

"It cost me about $150 everytime I go hunting.  Now it's costing me about $80," says Lawrence Verzwyvelt, of Long Beach.

Holiday travelers are also paying a dollar less compared to this time last year according to AAA. Despite the price drop, driving is still expected to be down about 1%; flying is expected to fall by 7%.  But, some say lower gas prices might encourage some to make last-minute changes to their stay-at-home plans.

"This gives them the enthusiasm to go somewhere instead of holding back," says Verzwyvelt.

What drivers save at the pump, they're likely to pay more at rental car counters - about 4% more.  Though rental car rates might be up, travelers may be able to catch a break when they rent a room.   AAA says the rates at some hotels are down about 10%.

While holiday travelers know they can't catch a break everywhere, they say the pump is a nice place to start.

"It's helped this trip.  It's been kind of nice," says Stone.