It’s one of the busiest travel days of the year in the United States. As drivers ready to hit the road for their Memorial Day weekend road trips, they might want to bring along a fatted wallet—because gasoline prices at the pump are soaring, according to new information from AAA.
The United States will see 60% more travelers this year than last year, the AAA newsroom reported, with more than 37 million people expected to travel 50 miles or more. And while that may seem like a large number, it is still 6 million fewer than pre-pandemic traveler figures.
The anticipated demand for fuel is likely to increase the price of retail gasoline, exacerbated by the still-normalizing Colonial Pipeline outage that ran thousands of gas stations dry in the wake of a ransomware attack.
In fact, according to AAA’s Monday report, prices will be the highest for any Memorial Day weekend since Memorial Day weekend 2014. AAA is still expecting there to be a low-supply situation in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline outage, but drivers are expected to be able to find gas.
“Holiday road trippers may come across some gas stations with low fuel supply in popular travel destinations, like beaches, mountains or national parks. However, markets are not expected to be fuel-less, like we saw in the wake of the pipeline shutdown, AAA said.
On Monday, the national average price of a regular gallon of gasoline was $3.039—$0.17 more per gallon than last month’s price, and $1.12 more expensive than this time last year.
For weekend travelers, AAA’s advice is to plan ahead, because “gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up.”