Millions of drivers who plan to hit the highways during the Memorial Day weekend can expect to pay a heavy price for fuel.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. rose to $4.61 on Sunday.
AAA also reports that the cost of diesel reached $5.529 this weekend.
“Even in the face of higher prices, we are still seeing an increase in the number of travelers compared to last year so we’re certainly feeling some unprecedented pain at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesperson for AAA.
He added, “But people are still begrudgingly paying those prices in order to have some sense of normalcy out there this holiday weekend.”
Economist Reilly White pointed out that consumers will feel the effects of the increase.
“It’s 46 percent more expensive this year to travel than it was last year during the Memorial Day weekend,” said White. “That is a significant amount and it will be hitting a lot of consumers’ bottom lines.”
GasBuddy recently conducted a survey where Americans were asked if they would keep their travel plans despite the record-high gas prices.
Of those surveyed, 58 percent of Americans said they intended to travel, while 38 percent stated that high inflation was having a negative impact on their summer traveling. Nearly two-thirds were still undecided on their plans.
“Against a backdrop of gas prices that have continued to set new records ahead of Memorial Day, Americans have been resilient in their desire to hit the road, but we’re certainly seeing increased hesitancy due to rising prices at the pump,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
“Soaring inflation has led to uncertainty over rising costs. The COVID factor is still present, but has been dwarfed this year by Americans’ concern over high gas prices and dwindling affordable travel options to make use of the best months of the year,” De Haan added.
Meanwhile, AAA is offering drivers several tips on how to save on fuel while on the road:
- Regular vs. Premium Gas – unless premium fuel is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer, it provides no added benefit.
- Avoid excessive idling – Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in winter. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel. Where it is safe, shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.
- Adjust your speed – Watch your speed when approaching traffic lights or stop signs. Take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake. Reduce repeated braking and acceleration, which consumes additional fuel.