Rising gas prices affecting over half of consumers’ summer plans

Traveling this summer has become more of a challenge as gas prices continue to hit record highs.

According to a recent GasBuddy survey, 70% of consumers admitted that their summer travel plans have been affected by the rising prices at the pump, an increase of 24% from 2021.

Meanwhile, the rising prices have made planning more difficult for over a third of consumers. In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers haven’t even been able to confirm their summer travel plans yet, according to the data.

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The national retail average for a gallon of regular gasoline has continued to set new records ahead of Memorial Day, otherwise known as the unofficial start to summer.

As of Thursday, the national average rose to $4.58 per gallon, up 48 cents from a month ago and over $1.50 higher than a year ago, according to AAA.

Gas prices in Westchester are above $6 as prices at the pump continue to rise across the Southland on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)

However, even with record-high gasoline prices, just over half of Americans, 58%, still intend to take a road trip this summer, an increase from last year when prices were significantly lower.

The majority of consumers, about 65%, said they would only be taking one or two road trips during the summer, the data suggests. Most will only travel between two and three hours and over five hours, according to GasBuddy.

The most popular travel time this summer is Memorial Day weekend, when prices are expected to reach $4.65 per gallon, a 51% increase from 2021, according to GasBuddy.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, GasBuddy projected that prices nationwide will be around $4.40 per gallon, “though significant events could raise or lower the outcome.”

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“Soaring inflation has led to uncertainty over rising costs,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a statement.

“Americans have been resilient in their desire to hit the road, but we’re certainly seeing increased hesitancy due to rising prices at the pump,” De Haan said.

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