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Are steep gas prices putting the breaks on Thanksgiving travel plans

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Americans are on the rebound this holiday despite looming covid cases. There are no more lockdowns this Thanksgiving, yet some Californians may hesitate to hit the road with the "Golden State's" crazy gas prices.

“There’s no reason for these types of gas prices,” said Joe Barrett, a Central Coast local.  

Most people are ready to hit the road and take advantage of having a long holiday weekend. Many are still braving the crowded roads to spend time with family and friends. Only with soaring gas prices, some families are keeping the car parked.

"The gas is too much. We can’t afford it. So we are just going to be home and just be with our family,” Isela Delvalle, Central Coast local.   

The climbing gas prices are putting a dent in people’s travel budgets, causing many to rethink their plans. “Normally we would be like, hey we can afford it. Let's go on this trip. But now it's like can we afford the gas? So we have to calculate gas first and then everything else," mentioned traveler Kayla Naranjo.

According to AAA, as of November 23rd, California’s average gas price is $4.70 a gallon, $1.30 more than the national average of $3.40. Monterey County’s average is $4.80, Santa Cruz County $4.77, and San Benito $4.76, for a Central Coast average of $4.78 per gallon. 

Steep gas prices aren’t just hindering those looking to escape for the holiday, it's also stopping visitors from coming in to see family.

“My oldest won’t be coming down for Thanksgiving because of it. He lives 8 hours away. Usually, he’ll make about six trips a year, he’s only made two this year,” continued Barrett.

While filling up, some said they’re saving their travels for the big one next month…Christmas. For others, travel is a way of life, and these gas prices aren’t stopping them.  

“Have you ever seen a coffin open, where people go to the viewing and there’s money around them? You can’t take it with you," Kathy Harryman, visiting from Illinois.  When asked if Kathy and her husband John would travel even if gas prices were to go up, the couple replied, "It all kind of depends on how high they go. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there."

According to triple-a - Despite high gas prices, southern California is the number two destination for this holiday, with Orlando being number 1. 

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.

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