Holiday travelers will pay highest gas prices since 2014

Woman filling vehicle with gas
Woman filling vehicle with gas
Carolyn Franks via Shutterstock

The most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014 will greet motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the unofficial kick-off to summer.

The national average has stabilized following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, but pump prices are likely to fluctuate leading up to the holiday weekend.

Last weekend the national gas price average declined a penny to $3.03, the first decrease in two weeks.

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While 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,” said AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee. “That is a 60 percent increase over last year’s holiday and a strong indication that summer travel is going to be largely popular. With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead.”

While the Colonial Pipeline is back in operation and deliveries are in progress, 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.

“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.

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are Hawaii (+4 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), California (+3 cents), Oregon (+3 cents), Colorado (+3 cents), Maryland (−3 cents), Georgia (−3 cents), Oklahoma (−3 cents), Illinois (−3 cents) and Wisconsin (−2 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are Louisiana ($2.71), Mississippi ($2.71), Missouri ($2.73), Texas ($2.74), Oklahoma ($2.75), Arkansas ($2.76), Kansas ($2.83), Minnesota ($2.83), Alabama ($2.83) and North Dakota ($2.84).

To check gas prices in your area there is a AAA app and also the Gas Buddy website offers information by location.

According to Gas Buddy, the gas prices in Alachua County range from $2.792 to $2.99 per gallon with an average per gallon price of $2.90.

AAA offers these road trip tips for Memorial Day travelers:

– Make a good BET before hitting the road: get your battery, engine and tires checked.

– Consider refueling when your gas tank level hits ¼ of a tank.

– Fill up before arriving at your vacation destination. Gas prices are likely to be cheaper outside of popular travel destinations.

– Call ahead to confirm a gas station’s pumps are flowing.

– Do not leave home without an emergency roadside kit. Include a mobile phone and car charger, 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.

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