Can’t use gas prices as excuse to get out of visiting the in-laws this holiday season

Prices at the pump have fallen ahead of December holiday travel (Canva)

HOUSTONThis is the What’s Driving Houston newsletter sent out by KPRC 2 traffic expert Anavid Reyes. To subscribe, visit click2houston.com/newsletters.


Hello Houston, and welcome back!

During our morning show today, I realized Christmas Eve is already on our 10-day weather forecast! This is wild to me...it feels like Thanksgiving happened 10 minutes ago! Now it’s time to get those presents wrapped and ready to go for all the wonderful holiday family gatherings...that you pray are painless and drama-free lol.

Well, with that being said, now is also the time to get your travel plan ready. AAA is forecasting this will be the third busiest year for holiday travel since they started monitoring numbers back in 2000. People are beginning to return to pre-pandemic level travel, which not only means traffic on the roads, but crazy crowds at the airports too.

According to AAA Texas, “Falling gas prices may encourage even more people to travel to celebrate the year-end holidays,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. Even though you may be spending a pretty penny buying your family gifts this year, it looks like folks are getting a break at the pump. The statewide gas price average in Texas is $2.65 for a gallon of regular gas, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch. This price is down 11 cents compared to last week and 25 cents less per gallon compared to this day last year.

Holiday Travel Timing

So with your holiday road trip on top of mind, try to figure out when you’re going to hit the road. Experts say, highways are expected to be particularly congested both Fridays leading into the Christmas and New Year’s Eve weekends.

  • In fact, here in Houston, the busiest time to head out on your road trip will be Friday, December 23 between 4 and 7 p.m.
  • The Eastex Freeway between the North Loop and IH-10 is expected to have the most congestion
  • With so much traffic expected on the roads, AAA Texas recommends drivers get their vehicles checked before their road trips to avoid any unnecessary incidents: “To ensure maximum savings and fuel economy, make sure your vehicle’s maintenance is up-to-date, shop around for the best gas prices by using the AAA mobile app and choose the correct grade of fuel required by your vehicle owner’s manual.”

Get ready people, because if your drive is already a nightmare... it’s about to get even crazier out there as we approach the holiday weekends. Do your best to take a few deep breaths before you start your engine, that way you at least start your drive with lower cortisol levels. Can’t promise it’ll stay low for your entire trip, but at least you get a good, calm start!

Drive safely my friends :)

Anavid Reyes

KPRC 2 traffic expert


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Airports

  • Here’s some all-season travel knowledge: You can bring an empty reusable water bottle with you in your carry-on bag. Most airports have a filling station before boarding, so you don’t have to get rid of a full bottle of water during your TSA screening.

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About the Author:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.