Gas prices not slowing down travel

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 24, 2022

Despite gas prices at a record high, one study found that Americans still plan to travel and vacation this summer.

According to AAA, a new study shows that almost half of those surveyed plan to travel by car or truck in the next six months.

With gas prices hovering around $5 per gallon, that is a close to a 60% increase in fuel prices on average at this time last year, and according to a recent article in the Washington Post, the increase in drivers on American’s roads could also push gas prices further up due to supply and demand.

Lunenburg resident Sherrill Mulkearns said gas prices would not deter her and her family from traveling.

“We are heading to a family wedding in West Virginia next weekend and then driving to Cleveland to take care of the grandchildren while their parents attend a conference in Europe,” Mulkearns said. “Neither is negotiable – have to go to both.”

In an article on Business Wire, a location data company Arrivalist said 37.9 million Americans traveled by automobile over Memorial Day weekend.

This volume is tracking slightly above 2019 and 2021 Memorial Day traffic levels. Overall, 2022 U.S. road travel is tracking 8.5 percent above 2021 volume.

According to AAA, the current highest U.S. average for gas is in California, where an average gallon of regular costs $6.06. The cheapest can be found in Oklahoma, which averages just over $4 per gallon.

Eddie Dickerson said the “how” people will be able to afford the rise in gas prices is the real story.

“Let’s tell the story of what happens when everyone maxes out their credit cards for gas just to go to the store… That’s a bigger story, the bigger issue than why.” Dickerson said.

You are not alone if you are one of the millions of Americans using credit cards and, in some cases, maxing them out to make ends meet.

The latest consumer debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank shows that consumers’ total credit card balances increased yearly.

According to data from credit-reporting firm Equifax, Americans opened a record 11.5 million credit card accounts in just the first two months of 2022.

Credit limits on those new cards total $55.5 billion, up nearly 60% from last year’s period.