While some people view the weeks to come as the holiday season, others think of them as the holiday travel season.

Approximately 50.9 million people in the United States are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

That’s a 3.3 percent increase over 2016.

In Texas, AAA predicts 3.9 million people will hit the road for the holiday.

“The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year,” according to AAA.

Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest time for travel during the year.

The official Thanksgiving holiday travel period started Wednesday and lasts through next Sunday. The busiest travel days are predicted to be Nov. 26, Nov. 22 and Nov. 17, in order.

With Killeen, Copperas Cove and other nearby school districts closed for the entire week, some families may have already begun their travel.

Fort Hood personnel will have a four-day weekend — Thursday through next Sunday — according to John Miller, Fort Hood public affairs officer.

For travelers who will be filling up at gas stations, the Texas state average per gallon is about $2.30, according to AAA. That price is 34 cents more per gallon than this time in 2016.

“The statewide gas price average in the lone star state has remained steady over the last week, and Texans are still enjoying some of the cheapest gas prices in the country heading into the busy Thanksgiving travel period,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas Senior Public Affairs Specialist.

In Killeen, the lowest gas price on Saturday was $2.18 per gallon at the Walmart, 2900 Clear Creek Road. The Corner Stores had gas for $2.19 per gallon at four locations: 1104 W. Rancier Avenue, 4402 E. Rancier Avenue, 1000 W. Stan Schlueter Loop, and 1801 S. W.S. Young Drive.

Harker Height’s Sam’s Club, 600 W. Central Texas Expressway, had gas at $2.07 per gallon on Saturday. The price was $2.16 per gallon at Murphy USA, 2010 Heights Drive. H-E-B, 601 Indian Trail Drive, and Walmart, 960 E. Farm-to-Market 2410 both had gas priced at $2.18 per gallon. The Corner Store, 601 E. Central Texas Expressway, had the per gallon price at $2.19.

The lowest price in Copperas Cove on Saturday was $2.17 per gallon at Murphy USA, 2712 E. Business 190. Four locations had gas posted for $2.19 per gallon: the Corner Store, 1102 S. Farm-to-Market 116; 7-Eleven, 501 N. First Street; Chevron, 2101 E. Business 190; Stripes, 1262 U.S. 190.

Those staying in the Killeen area likely will find the Thanksgiving weather forecast pleasant, according to the National Weather Service. Daytime temperatures will reach the 60s or low 70s during the coming week. A slight chance of rain is predicted for Tuesday.

“A cold front will move through on Tuesday,” said Bianca Villanueva, meteorologist with the NWS Dallas office. Overnight lows will drop into the 40s, causing mornings to be chilly. With plentiful sunshine, however, the days will allow for “pretty much tranquil, quiet conditions for the week,” Villanueva added.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

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