According to our sources, Santa Claus will not be the only person with travel plans as we head into next week's Christmas holiday weekend. Of course, Santa's plans are more work-related while the rest of us, I hope, will be on the road to visit family and friends to reconnect in person since so many gatherings were cancelled or delayed last Christmas because of the pandemic.

Anytime we, and I guess Santa too, have to contemplate leaving the safety and sanctity of our homes there are always a couple of concerns. Among those concerns are the weather not only for our time on the road but at our destination. And, there has been a lot of talk about rising fuel prices affected our travel plans too.

So, let's take a look at some of those issues and see how they'll shake out for your holiday plans.

Kraken Images via
Kraken Images via

What Will the Weather Be for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

Anytime you have travel plans in Louisiana in late December and early January you need to include fog as part of your road hazards. Some days there will be none, other days the fog will be so thick you can't see the front of your car. This aspect of the forecast can change hour by hour. So, plan accordingly for car trips and air travel.

As far as rain, snow, wind, hail, and any other weather conditions Mother Nature will be tossing our way, things actually look pretty good for Louisiana. Between now and then we will have some stormy days, especially this weekend. We will also be feeling the return of more Christmas-like temperatures for early next week. So, that's certainly good for the holiday spirit.

Granted, a forecast eight days out will have some fluctuation but right now the outlook for December 24th and December 25th in South Louisiana does not look bad at all. Christmas Eve should be mostly sunny and cool. Christmas Day will include a mix of clouds and sun with some forecast models including a chance of showers.

Gas Prices Continue To Drop
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What is the Price of Gas Going to Be?

While Santa can get from point A to point B using reindeer power, most of us will be taking our cars. The past few months have shown some outrageous increases in fuel prices but things do appear to have levelled off.  Last year, when most of us weren't on the road gas prices were the lowest they've been in almost five years. So things are different for road warriors this year.

The American Automobile Association says that gas prices nationally are averaging $3.33 a gallon for regular fuel. For comparison purposes that price is eight cents less than a month ago and $1.17 higher than in 2020.  Triple-A is not forecasting any huge spike in fuel prices over the next week, nor are they predicting a dramatic drop in prices.

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Where Can I find the Cheapest Fuel?

The Gulf South is the place you want to be driving if you have to be driving over the holidays. Fuel prices in almost all of the Southern states are well below the national average with Louisiana leading the way with some of the lowest fuel prices in the country.

As of this report, Triple-A has the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in Louisiana priced at $3.05 a gallon. If we bring that down to the local level, fuel prices in the Lafayette area are as low as $2.64 and in Lake Charles, the lowest price we found was $2.81 a gallon.

Convertkit via
Convertkit via

What About Air Travel?

Airports will be crowded. TSA lines will be lengthy. And holiday travel will be back with a vengeance compared to last year's pandemic holiday season. Triple-A is estimating that 6.4 million Americans will travel via air this holiday. That will be triple the number of passengers the airlines served during last year's holiday travel season.

If you want to avoid the busiest days of the holiday travel season Triple-A says don't fly on December 23rd or January 3rd. On those days you can expect a convergence of travellers trying to first, get home for the holidays and second, get back to their jobs following New Year's.

New Berlin Airport Prepares For Opening
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How will COVID Affect Holiday Travel?

There will be COVID protocols in place for all airlines and airports. Of course, the CDC suggests that if you have travel plans you get vaccinated and boosted, if you can, before you go. And for those who might want to buck the system, you can expect any in-flight altercations over masks and other COVID restrictions to result in legal action. The airlines are simply done with putting up with passenger's who don't follow the rules.

Remember flying is not a right it's a privilege. And, your airline staff is not getting paid to hear your opinion nor are they that concerned with it. They have been issued mandates and they will follow those mandates. So, my advice, follow the rules, be quiet, wear your mask, and enjoy the flight.

And if you're spending Christmas at home but want to see what's going on in other places, since we have the Internet, we can do that too.

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