Families across the country will need to stock up on hot chocolate and candy canes.  This holiday travel season is expected to be the busiest on record with an estimated 116 million Americans dashing through the snow to visit family and friends this year.  About 614,000 Idahoans will be among them, according to new projections by AAA.  4.3 million more Americans will travel this year than last year, for the 8th straight year of holiday travel growth.

“Idaho gas prices started dropping in mid-November, which is a nice present for drivers who are planning a long holiday road trip,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “But the savings may be short-lived.  Last Friday, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) voted to further cut crude oil production to remove more supply from the market.  If successful, the strategy could apply upward pressure on oil and gas prices in the coming year.”

Today, the U.S. average price for regular is $2.57, which is four cents less than a month ago and 16 cents more than a year ago. Gas is currently $2.87 in the Gem State, a full 13 cents less than a month ago and five cents more than a year ago.

The family sleigh remains the most popular way

More than 105 million motorists are expected to hit the road this holiday season.  But the quest for Christmas cheer can lead to frayed nerves and even road rage.

“In AAA’s previous research on aggressive driving, eight million U.S. drivers admitted to engaging in extreme acts of road rage, including deliberately ramming another vehicle or getting out of their car to confront another driver,” Conde said.  “Our advice is to keep a level head.  Don’t do anything offensive, be tolerant and forgiving, and don’t escalate a bad situation with an angry driver.”