Here’s Why Sky High Gas Prices Don’t Have To Wreck Your Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and kicks off the season’s peak travel period. With the annual holiday once again upon us, elevated gas prices are threatening to keep would-be travelers stuck at home. The average price per gallon is now above $4 in all 50 states, according to AAA. That’s more than $1.50 higher than this time a year ago, and over a $1 higher since Russia first invaded Ukraine.
Analysts explain the war has contributed to fossil fuel prices spiking. Russia is a major net exporter of oil and natural gas, and sanctions placed on the nation have constricted supply. At the same time, seasonal demand here in the US is pushing up demand, with a resulting price increase.
AAA says despite the elevated price of gas, 39 million people are planning to hit the road this weekend. GasBuddy, an app that tracks prices, says 58% of Americans plan to travel this summer. That’s up by 1% from last year. Still, GasBuddy indicates motorists do plan to travel less, as 65% plan to take just one or two trips.
GasBuddy also tracked how long people plan to be driving before reaching their destination. The most common durations are either between two to three hours, or longer than five hours.
Six Gas-Saving Steps
While there’s no shortage of tips available when it comes to saving on gas, there are six in particular that could help avoid “pain at the pump.” One involves car maintenance, in that getting a tuneup can improve gas mileage. Experts also say the best day to fill up is typically Wednesdays, based on how prices climb each week, with Friday the most expensive day on average.
Using the tools at your disposal are key, such as using apps to track gas prices in your area, paying with cash to avoid credit card surcharges, and signing up for different gas station chain’s loyalty programs. Finally, the most practical method of saving on gas is charting a vacation destination that’s close to home, as a quick internet search can typically locate some good options within a short drive. Higher gas prices are a rite of summer, but come with special circumstances this year, and a strategic adjustment is needed.
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