Record holiday road trips expected even as gas prices rise

AAA: 7.6 million Texans expected to travel by car

SAN ANTONIO – Reindeer may work for Santa, but the record number of Texans expected to hit the roads will need to visit the gas pumps, and they'll be paying more this year than last.

AAA said more than 8.2 million Texans, the most ever, are expected to travel for the holiday period from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2. Nearly 7.6 million will be traveling by automobile.

Melanie Graves will be among those traveling this year.

"We're going to Dallas for Christmas," she said. "We're going to be there for a few days. This year, it's going to cost us about $100."

Graves was filling up her tank at the Murphy USA on FM 78 in Converse for $1.83, some of the cheapest gas in the area.

On average, San Antonio has some of the least expensive fuel prices of major Texas cities. The average is $1.95. That's 20 cents more than last year. 

Prices have risen 14 days straight headed into the holiday driving stretch. This comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has cut production, boosting the price of oil.

Some analysts even predict $3 gas will return early next year for much of the country. David Cleaveland, an Uber driver, has mixed feelings about that prospect.

"I like the low prices because of the consumer aspect, but I own some oil and gas leases and the higher the price of a barrel goes, the better those revenues are," he said.

But higher prices are a pain in Patricia Hysaw's purse.

"It hurts a lot because we just got used to prices being low," she said. "But then, what can we do? We've got to drive."

One option: reindeer.

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