More than 39 million people are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, which is shaping up to be one of the most expensive on record, from the gas tank to the grill.
While many Americans are eagerly anticipating their first Memorial Day in three years without federal COVID-19 restrictions, experts are cautioning consumers to be wary of a different threat: jacked up prices.
“Against a backdrop of gas prices that have continued to set new records ahead of Memorial Day, 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,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said the company’s annual summer travel survey.
GasBuddy’s survey found that Memorial Day weekend will be the most popular travel weekend of the summer, but respondents still expressed concerns about the an inflation rate that’s hit a 40-year high.
“Soaring inflation has led to uncertainty over rising costs. The COVID factor is still present but has been dwarfed this year by Americans’ concern over high gas prices and dwindling affordable travel options to make use of the best months of the year,” De Haan continued.
A stunning 70% of those surveyed said their summer travel plans have been affected by the historic gas prices, up nearly three times from a year ago.
“It’s too expensive. I would rather ride my bike than pay these prices,” lamented Ryan Bubrosky, a Connecticut native paying $5.25 a gallon for a regular gasoline at his local station.