As Memorial Day travel is set to rebound to more than an estimated 37 million people will hit the roadways, motorists will see the highest gas prices since 2014 according to AAA.
The national average has stabilized following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, but pump prices are likely to fluctuate leading up to the holiday weekend. Over the past weekend, the national gas price average declined a penny to $3.03, the first decrease in two weeks. While barely cheaper on the week, the average is 17 cents more than last month and $1.12 more expensive than last year.
California average gas prices
|Week Ago Avg.||$4.135||$4.319||$4.444||$4.141|
|Month Ago Avg.||$3.991||$4.180||$4.302||$4.062|
|Year Ago Avg.||$2.863||$3.038||$3.156||$3.242|
“AAA expects 37 million Americans to travel, mostly by car and plane, for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That is a 60% increase over last year’s holiday and a strong indication that summer travel is going to be largely popular,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead. The AAA app can help to find the best price.”
AAA offers these road trip tips for Memorial Day travelers:
- Make a good BET before hitting the road: get your battery, engine and tires checked.
- Consider refueling when your gas tank level hits ¼ of a tank.
- Fill up before arriving at your vacation destination. Gas prices are likely to be cheaper outside of popular travel destinations.
- Use your AAA app to find the closest gas station on your route. You can always call ahead to confirm their pumps are flowing.
- Do not leave home without an emergency roadside kit. Include a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares and jumper cables. Don’t forget extra snacks or meals, as well as cleaning supplies, including disinfecting wipes.
- The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Hawaii (+4 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), California (+3 cents), Oregon (+3 cents), Colorado (+3 cents), Maryland (−3 cents), Georgia (−3 cents), Oklahoma (−3 cents), Illinois (−3 cents) and Wisconsin (−2 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Louisiana ($2.71), Mississippi ($2.71), Missouri ($2.73), Texas ($2.74), Oklahoma ($2.75), Arkansas ($2.76), Kansas ($2.83), Minnesota ($2.83), Alabama ($2.83) and North Dakota ($2.84).
Memorial Day Holiday Travel to Rebound to More Than 37 Million
AAA predicts 60% more travelers than last year, Orlando and Las Vegas are top destinations this year
WALNUT CREEK — Americans are showing a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day as more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows.
AAA Northern California expects more than 37 million people to travel 50 miles or more from home for the Memorial Day holiday (May 27 – May 31), an increase of 60% from 2020 when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began tracking travel data in 2000.
“If you choose to travel this Memorial Day, know what to expect at your destination and take measures to protect yourself and others as the pandemic continues,” said Sergio Avila, spokesperson, AAA Northern California.
Know Before You Go
- Updated guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk to themselves with precautions. For travelers who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing, and getting tested before and after travel.
- Plan ahead. Local and state travel restrictions may remain in place. Check the CDC’s Covid-19 data tracker, municipal and state health departments, and local news for updates on coronavirus cases and continue to do so while on the road. Masks are required on all public transportation, including airports, in and out of the United States.
- Be prepared. Drivers should ensure their vehicles are road-ready before embarking on a road trip. Visit a AAA owned or Approved Auto Repair Center for a pre-trip inspection.
- Avoid traffic. The busiest times on the road will be the afternoon of May 27 and May 28. Major metro areas could experience double the travel times compared to a routine trip.
- Available resources. Visit AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map for local travel information. Use TripTik.AAA.com to plan your road trip and help determine which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels are open along your route.
AAA advises travelers to seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel agent to help plan their trips this summer. To get started and to learn more, visit AAA.com/Travel.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 27 through Monday, May 31. The five-day holiday period is consistent with previous Memorial Day holiday periods. This forecast was finalized during the week of April 12.
About AAA Northern California
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, travel and home security services. According to Via Magazine’s Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com.