KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gas prices took another big bounce this week, rising by as much as 15 cents in some spots of the U.S.
The price hike comes as many families plan their Memorial Day travel — a holiday weekend that’s only a week away. In many sections of the Kansas City area, gas by the gallon costs north of $4.00.
Most drivers seem prepared to pay to travel for the holiday weekend. AAA predicts nearly 40 million Americans will travel 50 miles or further next weekend, most of them will drive to get there.
A gallon of gas more than $4.00 right now, but most drivers will be prepared to pay.
“We’re seeing supply and demand differences come to a head all at the same time,” Nick Chabarria, spokesperson for AAA in St. Louis, said.
Chabarria said AAA doesn’t expect drivers to stay home on the upcoming holiday. Memorial Day 2022 is the first warm weather holiday where families will be able to travel without heavy COVID restrictions.
“We know that folks want to make up for lost time. They want to take the trips they’ve been putting off for a couple of years. We’re seeing that reflected in the AAA Memorial Day holiday forecast,” Chabarria added.
That annual forecast from AAA shows numbers are gradually getting back to pre-pandemic levels despite high gas costs. AAA believes close to 35 million U.S. drivers will he on the interstates beginning next Friday. That’s up five percent from a year ago, but down seven percent from 2019, before COVID-19 kept more people at home.
Economists say the war between Ukraine and Russia continues to affect gas prices across the world, as well as the closure of a few U.S. refineries during the pandemic.
FOX4 talked with a number over over-the-road truck drivers on Friday, some of whom said they’re planning their own family getaways for Memorial Day.
“My wife and I are planning a trip. We already know it’s going to cost us extra for the trip because of the fuel,” Doug Fuller, a trucker from Wichita, said.
“The only advice I can give is — watch your spending. Be careful how you spend your money and don’t just blow it. Just be wise,” Quin Oliver, a trucker from Mississippi, said on Friday.
AAA analysts don’t believe gas prices will come down anytime soon. Chabarria said high demand and low supplies will keep prices up, and costs at the pumps will likely fluctuate a lot between now and the July Fourth holiday.
For potential holiday drivers who can’t stomach the high costs, AAA suggest pricing bus and train tickets as an alternative. Automotive experts recommend keeping cars in top shape will ensure the best possible gas milage — including air filters, spark plugs and tire inflation as well.
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