If you are planning to go on a road trip over Memorial Day Weekend, expect to pay more for gas. According to estimates from AAA, the price of gas is expected to reach a seven-year high, averaging around $3 a gallon.
AAA expects about 37 million people to travel this year, an increase of 60% from 2020.
"With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead," said AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee.
The higher prices are the result of increased demand, as more and more Americans are looking to get away following more than a year of coronavirus lockdowns.
"Prices have been going up, really, since last November, and that's just a story that the vaccine continues to allow," Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, said according to ABC News. "Americans are getting back to normal. You couldn't drive to go see an MLB game, but now you can. You couldn't drive to go see an NHL game, and now you can. There's a lot more things for Americans to do now that the economy's reopening."
AAA said that gas prices in the Southeast are going to be above the national average as stations continue to recover from the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. The agency suggested that travelers fill up their tanks before reaching their destination because gas tends to be more expensive in popular tourist destinations.
McGee said that gas prices are likely to stay above $3 a gallon throughout the summer.
"In general, the more expensive gas prices don't keep people home," McGee said. "Especially this year with all the pent-up demand, and the additional, you know, discretionary income people have from not traveling this past year -- we expect those vacations to definitely continue, those road trips to be extremely popular."
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