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Memorial Day weekend travel will be costly

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 10:57 AM CDT
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(CNN) - Millions of Americans are hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, and these trips are going to be more expensive than usual.

According to AAA, the cost of items like gas, food, hotels and airfare are all up.

Eric Stevens of Encino says he makes $110,000 a year, but even that is not enough to afford a trip to the lake.

Gas in the Los Angeles area, at $6 a gallon, has kept his plans in park.

“Maybe for the affluent they can afford it, but for me, to go anywhere is minimum a $200 decision in regards to gas, and you haven’t fed your kids or done anything else,” Stevens said.

Gas Buddy says holiday weekend gas prices are the highest they have been since 2012, but the pain goes beyond the pump.

New data says hotels have jumped 42% compared to last year, and airfare is up 6%.

“This will likely be one of the most expensive Memorial Day travel periods we’ve ever seen.” said Andrew Gross, spokesperson for AAA, Inc.

Even so, AAA thinks Americans will not be stopped, traveling to top destinations like Orlando, Seattle, Miami and Las Vegas.

The latest projection: 34.9 million people will drive 50 miles or more over the five days around Memorial Day.

“Our projections have been pretty accurate, but we’ve never been trying to project in an environment like this.” Gross said.

The new fear is this expensive start to summer travel could last.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, said he thinks the average price of gas will not dip below $4.50 for months.

“I don’t really think the higher price of fuel is going to slow down any,” he said. “It may slow down some, but certainly there’s still a very healthy appetite to hit the road this summer.”

Not so for Stevens, who says he’s choosing to pay for his daughter’s day care over a road trip.

“Fun has been postponed for the indefinite future, especially the way things are going,” he said. “While I’d like or hope there is an end in sight, I just don’t see one.”

The national average for a gallon of gas as of Friday morning is nearly $4.60, according to AAA. It was $3.04 on this day last year.

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