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AAA expects record car travel this weekend despite high gas prices

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 20:33:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The highways and skies will be very busy this 4th of July weekend.

AAA expects 47.9 million Americans to travel this weekend, just shy of 2019 levels.

The current statewide gas price average in Missouri is $4.57, according to AAA. It's seven cents down from the same day last week and up $1.76 compared to the same time last year.

While many people will still be hitting the highways this weekend, those high prices are affecting where people choose to go.

Teresa and Jerry Schrock drove to Kansas City from Emporia, Kansas, Wednesday to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

"We would have probably used our camper and gone somewhere farther away, and a little more, I don't want to say elaborate, but at least longer distance and a little bigger celebration, but gas did keep us home," Teresa Schrock said.

As millions of drivers plan to hit the road this weekend, AAA is reminding everyone to give themselves plenty of time and keep safety at the forefront of the trip.

"We had seen concerning trends in 2020 and 2021 where we've seen the highest number of roadway fatalities at least in Missouri and across the country in the last decade," said Nick Chabarria, public affairs specialist with AAA.

For those choosing to travel by plane this 4th of July weekend, there's concern about delays and cancellations.

Kathy and Chuck, a couple from Arizona who came to the area to visit family, said they originally wanted to fly out on the 4th.

"We were too worried about the flights and the travel and all the cancellations that we saw over Memorial Day weekend that could probably be the same here," Chuck said.

They changed their plans hoping to avoid a travel mess, but they realize there's never a guarantee things will go as planned.

"There aren't a lot of backups, it's not like we're going to drive back, so we'll just have to wait and hope everything goes well," Chuck said.

Chabarria said it's possible gas prices could begin climbing again in the coming weeks due to the demand for fuel.

AAA recommends a few things to save money on fuel, such as minimizing the use of the air conditioning, making sure tires are properly inflated, driving the speed limit, and avoiding extended idling to warm up the engine.