Americans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend and when they do, they’ll find highways more crowded and gas prices higher than last Memorial Day.
AAA expects 37 million people in the U.S. to travel at least 50 miles from home this weekend and most will travel by car. Last year, in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown, only 23 million Americans ventured away from home.
A better comparison may be Memorial Day weekend 2019, which had 6 million more travelers than expected to travel this year. Then, the average gas price was around $1.95 a gallon because of the huge drop in demand. This year, prices at the pump are a lot higher.
The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular is $3.04 a gallon, matching last Friday’s price. The price spike caused by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown has begun to fade.
The average price of premium gas is $3.64, the same as last week. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.17, also unchanged from a week ago.
Jeanett McGee, a spokesperson for AAA, says it means that holiday travelers will face the highest gas prices since 2014.
“With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead,” she said.
But there’s good news for motorists along the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts. Gas stations that ran out of fuel earlier this month should have adequate supplies this weekend.
The states with the most expensive gas
These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:
The states with the cheapest regular gas
The survey found these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:
North Dakota ($2.85)