Before the food and family time, there's the Thanksgiving travel rush.
AAA experts predict that 48.7 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home for the holiday - a almost 2 percent increase from previous year and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. In Florida, the current average price of $2.15 is seven cents more than last year's holiday ($2.08), with some stations locally selling gas below $2 a gallon.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the average national price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.16.
AAA says increased holiday travel is being sparked by a steadily improving economy and consumer confidence.
Of those, a record 3.6 million are expected to be flying, 43 million driving, and another 750,000 will be taking trains to their Thanksgiving destinations.
The organization projects a 1.9 percent increase in travelers for the holiday travel period, which runs from November 23 to November 27.
PDX expects about 57,000 people to roll through Wednesday and about 60,000 more on Sunday. It took another recession to drive them lower; In 2008, prices averaged $1.89 per gallon just before Thanksgiving. Gas prices are helping fuel that trend.
Just like a year ago, long road trips are the preferred method of transportation for travelers this Thanksgiving season.
"3,175 people have died on Texas roads to date and that number will undoubtedly increase as we go into the holidays with drunk driving".
Finally, it's a good idea to make sure your vehicle is fully prepped for Thanksgiving travel. Of those travelers, more than 90 percent will travel by auto. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
According to the Travel Channel, the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year.
AAA Three-Diamond lodgings are expected to remain flat, with travelers spending an average of $155 per night. The average rate for an AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has risen four percent with an average nightly cost of $123. Daily auto rental rates will average $52, 13 percent lower than last Thanksgiving. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.
In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times.