With the Memorial Day holiday weekend only days away, many budget-conscious drivers are highly concerned about fast-rising gas prices.
For the fifth straight week, the nation’s average gas price has continued to head higher, rising eleven cents from a week ago to $4.57 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy data. The national average is up an eye-popping forty-five cents from a month ago and $1.55 compared to one year ago.
“With no word on when gas prices will go back down, some people are turning to staycations for their summer trips, staying close to home and not traveling long distances,” the news station writes.
Robert Thrailkill, the general manager for Hilton Palacio Del Rio in San Antonio, noted that he is already about 70 percent booked for the summer months.
“We're extremely excited about the summer,” he said. “I suspect we'll see a lot of people from across San Antonio.”
Meanwhile, Chuck Cureau, who is with SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio public relations, added that the majority of people who visit are season-pass holders.
“With inflation the way it is, with gas prices the way they are, we're anticipating that people are going to stay put here in San Antonio,” he told WOAI/KABB.
Such sentiments were also reflected in a recent Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey, which found that about two-thirds of Americans now admit that they will make “significant” habit changes to their driving patterns due to high gas prices.
The poll also found that 62 percent will use their vehicle just for necessities, such as grocery shopping and doctor visits; 41 percent will not fill the gas tank up but just put in what is affordable; 35 percent will take public transit more; 34 percent will drive to different gas stations to find the best price; and 29 percent will be canceling a planned summer holiday vacation.
Despite the sky-high prices at the pump, some experts are cautiously optimistic that the country will be able to avoid seeing a national average of $5 per gallon of gas this year.
“With more Americans planning to hit the road for Memorial Day this year compared to last, prices will be over $1.50 per gallon higher than last year. Though, prices are appearing to slow down, for now,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a release.
“While the coast isn’t clear yet, and prices will be at their highest Memorial Day level ever, I’m hopeful that we could avoid a dreaded national average of $5 per gallon this year. Whether or not we’re able to depends on Americans cutting demand in the face of sky high prices,” he concluded.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.