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High gas prices may limit some Memorial Day travel

More than half the people in a survey said gas prices are influencing their plans

Memorial Day concept
Photo (c) z1b - Getty Images
Despite the pent-up demand for travel that consumers are experiencing after a two-year pandemic, fewer Americans are planning to travel during the Memorial Day weekend. For many, the high cost of gasoline is the reason.

In a survey of 1,030 American adults over the age of 18, the Vacationer found that about 60% of respondents are planning a holiday trip this year. More than 50% said their primary mode of transportation will be by car. Nearly 7% said they will fly, while the remaining 2.52% will take public transportation.

Just over half – 54% – said high gas prices are affecting their Memorial Day travel plans. Those who are planning to travel by car aren’t planning to travel that far. One-third of respondents said they're planning a car trip over the holiday weekend, but they will only travel 100 or fewer miles.

“The youngest generation of American adults aged 18-29 is most likely to travel for Memorial Day,” the survey authors write. 

Just over 70% of that group plans to travel, with the rate falling for older demographic groups. Only 63.09% of those aged 30 to 44 say they will travel, and 59.29% of American adults aged 45 to 60 said the same. 

Firing up the grill

Of all the activities that people plan for the Memorial Day weekend, a barbecue cookout is by far the most popular. Fifty-eight percent of people in the survey said they’ll stay close to home and fire up the grill.

The next most popular activity is a trip to the beach, favored by 13.4% of respondents.

The survey concludes that inflation is definitely putting a damper on holiday activities. More than 40% of respondents said high gasoline prices are a consideration in their plans. Another 13% reconsidered air travel plans because of rising fares.

A report by WFTS-TV in Tampa found that airfares have nearly doubled to some destinations in just the last two months. The report found that demand for air travel is rising faster than airlines are adding flights.

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