By Tim Williams

With the holiday season fast approaching, many eyes are watching gas prices.  AAA will soon release its Thanksgiving travel projections.  Tim Williams explains why your next trip may cost a bit more than in recent years.

The factors are adding up and there are more reasons than not for gas prices to go up this holiday season.

“The national average is about 23 cents more than a year ago and here in Maryland, motorists are paying 21 cents more than they did a year ago,” said Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

One reason is because crude oil continues to flirt with the $90 a barrel mark.  For consumers, that means the coming holiday will see a slight but continuous increase in gas prices.

Morris Segall joins many economists who point to several contributing reasons for the climb.

“Oil prices are up because of two things.  One, there’s increased energy demand coming from the far East, particularly China and India. More importantly, oil prices are going up because the US dollar is declining in value,” Segall said.

A weak dollar typically means investors may take advantage by investing in the commodity so the current spike in oil prices could mean a subsequent drop right after the holiday–but you may not notice it at the pumps right away.

“As we see crude oil prices go up, we almost always see gas prices go up instantly, which is always a concern to motorists,” Averella said.  “When we see crude oil prices go down, we don’t typically see those prices at the pump decline quite so quickly.”

So factor gas into your holiday budget.

The national price for a gallon of regular unleaded stands at $2.90.  Official holiday travel projections for the nation will be released this week.


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