Thanksgiving day is special to families worldwide as people travel to spend the day with loved ones and make some lasting memories. However, with everyone usually driving for Thanksgiving feasts and getting a slice of the turkey, it is not out of place to wonder if gas stations open on Thanksgiving Day.
Most gas stations around the United States will have pumps that are open on Thanksgiving day for ‘pay at the pump’ options. If you are looking for an in person attendant, many shops and cashier stands close early on Thanksgiving, and a few may not open at all.
Here in this article I will discuss the possibility of finding an open gas station on thanksgiving day and other useful details.
Can You Find An Open Gas Station On Thanksgiving Day?
If you are making the drive to see family on this very popular American holiday, you like many others on the road may find that the distance and traffic necessitate fueling up before and even during the trip. On one of the busiest travel days of the year, is it possible to find an open gas station?
In most places, gas stations are open for business all year round, even on Thanksgiving day. The convenience shop may not be open for normal times or have special holiday hours, but pumps are always open, so you can always pay at the pump if you need fuel.
However, there are some areas where this isn’t the case. In fact, in some parts of Canada, the United States, and Europe, gas stations close down on holidays like Thanksgiving. So if you want to be on the safe side, it’s best to fill up your tank a day before Thanksgiving.
What Businesses Are Open on Thanksgiving Day?
Many businesses are open on Thanksgiving Day, including grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and more. If you want to find out if a specific business will be available on Thanksgiving Day, check their websites or social media pages.
Most commercial businesses are open on Thanksgiving, but many will have a reduced labor force, reduced hours of operation, or reduced services at least from the afternoon through evening. Due to the holiday it is a good idea to check with a business before you make the trip.
If you’re traveling within your community, you’ll likely have no problem finding a gas station that’s open on Thanksgiving Day. However, if you plan on driving somewhere far, make sure to ask about gas availability before leaving home.
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Which Stations Are Open Thanksgiving Day?
Gas station shops and cashier stands usually close early on Thanksgiving Day, which means they might not be open if you arrive in the evening. However, it’s important to know what time they close, as you don’t want to get stuck without any fuel.
So, how do you know what time gas stations close on Thanksgiving Day?
Gas stations near interstates and urban locations usually stay open 24 hours even on Thanksgiving day. Stations in neighborhood areas and suburbs can close at night and even turn off pumps. Costco, Kroger, Food City, Walmart etc. shut off pumps a couple of hours before and after store hours.
To find out more, you can look online for the closest gas station to your destination. Then, use Google Maps to see what time they close.
For example, you could search for “gas stations near me.” This would bring up a list of nearby gas stations, along with their opening times. From here, you can easily find out whether they close early or stay open late.
You can also visit the website of the local gas station chain to find out what time they close.
Here is a list of major gas station brand websites:
Is It Safe To Fill Up My Gas Tank On Thanksgiving Day?
It doesn’t matter what day it is, nearly all gas stations work the same. Most gas stations are open 24/7 and will always accept payment via credit card, debit card, or cash.
It is safe to fill up at most gas stations and nearly all of them are well lit. Though an attendant may not be on duty, cameras and lighting make it safe to fill up and pay at the pump. It is always a good idea to use larger, more established stations with customers coming in and out regularly.
You should be fine as long as you have confirmed that a gas station is open around your location. Just remember to check the price as some gas stations charge higher prices on holidays like Thanksgiving or during summer travel.
What Should I Do When I Need Fuel on Thanksgiving Day?
If you run into problems getting fuel, you can call the next closest gas station directly to see if they are open. Or, you can try looking online for the nearest gas station.
Importantly, if you’re going to be very far away from home on Thanksgiving Day make sure you have enough gas in your tank. It is also a good idea to top up your gas tank after driving for a few hours if you can find a gas station near you.
What we do normally on any long trip is to fill up the tank before it gets below half full. This way we can take a much needed break from the road and make sure that we won’t get too low if we are in a long stretch of country where gas stations are few and far between.
Also, keep an eye out for signs advertising special deals on Thanksgiving Day. These discounts could help you save money. Also, many gas stations offer free service to people who pay with cash, so you want to look out for such offers.
Can I Use Cash Instead of Credit Card at Gas Stations?
Yes, you can use cash instead of credit cards when buying gas. However, you should only use cash if you’re planning on paying for the whole amount upfront and specifically know how much fuel your car, truck, or van will need.
You can always pay for gas with cash as long as an attendant is on duty, and Thanksgiving could change the hours they are available. Paying at the pump is not an option with cash at any time and on Thanksgiving it should not be relied upon due to some locations having shorter hours for attendants.
However, some rural gas stations allow you to pay for part of the bill up front and then settle up the rest later. In this case, you won’t need to know exactly how much you need. But, you still need to revisit the attendant to pay for exactly how much gas you bought.
When You Pay With Cash, How Much Will Be Refunded?
Some gas stations refund a certain percentage back to customers who pay with cash. This percentage depends on your purchase size. To find out how much money you’ll get back, ask the attendant when you enter the store.
Since you are required to pay up front in most gas stations, you will have to guess how much you will need. Once the fueling is done, you should be refunded the exact amount that was not spent filling your tank. This only available when attendants are present, which may be limited on Thanksgiving.
The problem with this on Thanksgiving is that some stations will not have an attendant or will have reduced hours they are available. This means that on holidays like this, it is not the best plan to count on paying for gas with cash.
Is Thanksgiving Day a Good Day to Drive?
The average wait time for gasoline on thanksgiving day is about 10 minutes, so it’s a good day to drive but you will have to allow for traffic and some lines at stations to fill up.
The roads are usually busy because of people travelling, so if you’re planning to drive in, get gas immediately, and hurry off, you might want to consider arriving at the gas station early. That way, you’ll get gas and be on your way without much of a delay in your trip.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year to drive and can be a hassle due to traffic and crowding at the gas pumps. It is worth it since it may only be possible to see family a couple of times per year. Though, it is not the best time to take a pleasure drive.
You can also reduce the wait by stopping at multiple gas stations. Because gas stations compete against each other for business, they often lower their prices to attract new customers.
This means that even though one station has gas, they might not offer lower prices. But, on the other hand, another nearby station might have low prices and enough gas to sell. So, if you stop at several different stations, you might end up saving money.
Do All Gas Stations Have the Same Prices?
All gas stations do not have the same prices—some charge higher prices during peak times like Thanksgiving, summer, or even travel weekends. Most have regional or area pricing that is set for them by the oil distributors they rely upon to get their fuel to sell.
That is why you can find a group of stations in one area charging one price and a mile down the road have another set of stations charging another. Many times these prices are dictated by what they get the fuel for themselves.
In addition, some gas stations have special promotions or sales. For example, some stores offer coupons or discounts on Thanksgiving Day.
So, if you’ve got a coupon for a discount on gas, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Wrapping Up Open Gas Stations On Thanksgiving Day…
So, if you are off to see the family on this coming Thanksgiving, you should have no problem keeping fueled up. If you are near interstates or freeways, you can stop and fill up at any time.
The problem may come when using rural stations or ones connected to big box or grocery stores. They have more limited hours. These would need to be used at the beginning or end of your journey.
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