LANSING, Mich. — Memorial Day gas prices will be the highest they’ve been since 2014, according to the American Automobile Association, commonly known as AAA.
The holiday, which signifies the beginning of summer for many, is associated with an increase in travel. That will likely be the case this year, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in response to the increase in vaccinations.
AAA says pump prices are likely to fluctuate leading up to the holiday weekend.
Over the past weekend, AAA says the national gas price average declined a penny to $3.03, the first decrease in two weeks. While it’s barely cheaper on the week, the average is 17 cents more than last month and $1.12 more expensive than last year.
“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 AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee in a statement. “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 says the national average gas price has stabilized following this month’s cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which caused part of the East Coast to scramble for gas.
While the Colonial Pipeline is back in operation, some stations in the Southeast continue to experience supply strain. This is likely to extend into the holiday weekend, but motorists will be able to fill up, according to AAA.
“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,” added McGee.
AAA offered these road trip tips for Memorial Day travelers:
- Get your battery, engine and tires checked before heading out
- Consider refueling when your gas tank level hits a quarter of a tank
- Fill up before arriving at your vacation destination; gas prices are likely to be cheaper outside of popular travel spots
- Don’t leave home without an emergency roadside kit, including a mobile phone and car charger, a 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