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Despite higher gas prices, AAA expects busy Memorial Day travel weekend

Road trip to Colorado
Posted at 3:56 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 15:49:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — At this point, we've all probably realized we're paying more at the pump. However, AAA told KSHB 41 News although prices are higher this year than they were last year, people are still going on their Memorial Day weekend trips.

"AAA is still expecting more Americans to travel for this Memorial Day holiday than last year, and this puts us pretty close to where we were in 2019, in terms of travel figure just prior to the pandemic," Nick Chabarria, spokesperson for AAA Missouri, said.

Chabarria said people are likely feeling much more comfortable taking trips this year, especially since COVID restrictions were lifted.

And, they might not even care about how much gas is; they just want to travel.

"If they want to travel, they still will and they'll find ways to save money in their trip elsewhere, and that may be eating out less while on vacation or finding more economic accommodations," Chabarria said.

Gas prices are just under $4 a gallon in Kansas City, compared to around $2.75-2.85 this time last year.

However, our area still has some of the cheapest gas prices in the country. The national average is $4.59.

Before you hit the road for the holiday, AAA has a gas cost calculator on its website. You enter a starting and an ending destination, your vehicle make and model and it will average out what it'll cost to get there with current gas prices.

Some of the biggest travel destinations this year are beaches and places with outdoor activities, according to AAA.

Let's say you're driving to Rocky Mountain National Park in a Toyota Corolla. AAA says it'll cost you about $153 roundtrip.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina will cost about $264 roundtrip.

Orlando, Florida will cost about $289 roundtrip.

But, that's a lot of driving.

If you booked a last-minute flight today, May 23, for a trip Thursday through Monday, you'd be looking at around over $300 to Denver, over $500 to Charleston, and over $500 to Orlando.

AAA says we shouldn't expect gas prices to go down this summer.

"We know there's a lot at play right now with global oil and gas industries and unless something dramatic changes, prices are going to remain where they're at or continue to go up," Chabarria said.