Travel and Vacation
Will Prices at the Pump Affect Summer Travels?
With Memorial Day weekend the official start of summer has arrived. It’s time to dust off that suitcase or backpack and start gearing up from serious road trip adventures. One of the best parts is that the historically low prices at the pump are looking to continue through the summer months, giving you the opportunity to stretch your dollar and your mileage a little further.
Welcome the return of the great American road trip
All numbers seem to be pointing to an increase in travelers this summer. Marshall Donley, the CEO and President of AAA, said, “Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade.” The excitement to get out on the open road is resoundingly strong. In fact, a recent survey done by Wallet Path found that 64% of their respondents didn’t even factor in the cost of gasoline when finalizing their travel plans.
The laizzez-faire attitude about gas budgets is likely due to the fact that the US has seen its lowest gas prices across the board in more than a decade. In fact, in January of this year, the national average was only about $1.89 a gallon – which is staggering when you consider that not long before, the pumps were boasting prices of $4.00 a gallon or more in some areas and crude oil was over $100 a barrel.
Keep in mind you may pay more than at the beginning of the year
However, it would be wise to remember that the anticipation of increased summer travel and slowly rebounding wholesale oil prices mean that what you will pay at the pump will most likely go up some too. Of course, when comparing the current national average of $2.22 a gallon to the highs of 2012, you’re still not going to empty your bank account to take a drive. So, while you don’t have to sweat too much spending hundreds each time you fill up the gas tank, it may just be a safe bet to budget for a little more than you originally planned.
Be smart about mileage and increase gasoline efficiency
Lower prices don’t necessarily mean you should just throw caution to the wind on your next road trip either. It’s better to get the most bang for your buck in your tank, and there are some helpful tips and tricks you can do as a ‘pre-road trip’ check list – low gas prices or not. Some of these include simple things like tuning your engine, changing the air filter or inflating your tires. Saving a dollar here and there will mean more money for your vacation.
55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to travel this year than last year, according to one AAA survey. If you’re one of those travelers getting geared up for a summer excursion, stay ahead of the game with fuel efficiency and budget accordingly. Then all that remains is the open road before you.
Do you think gas prices will affect your travels this year? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!
About the Author:
Megan Nichols is the editor of Schooled by Science. She enjoys writing about the latest innovations in technology and science.
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