It's the unofficial start of summer as swimming pools, beaches and amusement parks flood with travelers for the Memorial Day Weekend, but there is one thing that might deter travelers this year.
The price of gas is at its highest levels in four years, says AAA, but the sudden increase in gas does not mean that everyone will have a more expensive trip. AAA says that airfare is down 7 percent from Memorial Day Weekend of 2017 for the top domestic routes. Rental car rates are also 11 percent lower this year.
AAA affiliated hotels are also showing upwards of a 14 percent savings from last year.
Overall, 41.5 million Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day Weekend, which is up nearly 5 percent. Even with gas up 56 cents nationwide from last year, AAA expects a 4.7 percent increase in the number of travelers by car.
“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”
If traveling by car, you'll find the cheapest gas in the South and Southern Plains. The average price of gas in those states is still below $2.75 per gallon. The most expensive gas is out west, topping out at $3.71 in California.
Despite gas almost reaching $3 nationally, prices are still far cheaper than in 2014 when the average price of a gallon of gas in the United States was $3.65.