Low gas prices fuel Memorial Day weekend travel
Relatively low gas prices are expected to spur the biggest Memorial Day weekend for travel in more than a decade.
American Automobile Association’s latest travel survey found more than 4.6 million Californians plan to travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, an increase of 2.5 percent from record highs set in 2015 and the most travelers since 2005.
“The beginning of summer has officially begun with millions of Californians ready to hit the roads, spurred by lower gas prices and growing optimism in the country’s economy,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson, in a press release. “This season’s record high travel volume is a good barometer as to what we can expect for the rest of the year.”
As of Friday, May 27, the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.78 in El Dorado County and $2.51 in Douglas County, according to fuel-price reporting website GasBuddy.com. Statewide, a gallon of regular fuel cost $2.81 in California and $2.50 in Nevada. California’s average price is more than $1 per gallon cheaper than in 2015, and at $2.23, the current national average is almost 50 cents per gallon lower today than a year ago, according to the website.
“Motorists will be filling up their tanks with the cheapest summer gasoline since 2005 and we are finding that more people than ever will be taking advantage by hitting the road,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, in a press release. “As we kick off driving season, gas prices will be nearly a dollar per gallon lower than the 10-year Memorial Day average of $3.15 per gallon. The incredible part is, nationally, we’ll be saving $2.6 billion over the long weekend versus the highest-priced Memorial Day weekend in 2011 at $3.78 per gallon.”
The U.S. Department of Energy expects gas prices to remain through the end of the summer driving season in September. U.S. regular gasoline prices are forecast to average $2.21 per gallon during the summer, 42 cents lower than last year, according to the government agency.