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Americans Set for Near-Record Summer Road Trips as Gasoline Prices Fall

A near-record number of Americans plan road trips this summer as gasoline prices continue to drop ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the start to summer travel, the 2024 Summer Travel Survey of fuel savings platform GasBuddy showed on Tuesday.

A total of 76% of Americans plan to take at least one road trip between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the GasBuddy survey showed. That’s 18% higher than last year. The average American traveler has two road trips planned, with many venturing far – 49% expect to drive 5 or more hours to reach their destination, according to the survey.

GasBuddy expects the national average price of gasoline will hold in the mid-$3 per gallon range for much of the summer, with potentially tens of thousands of stations falling below $3 per gallon throughout the next several months. GasBuddy forecasts that gas prices will average $3.58 per gallon nationally between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

GasBuddy expects July 4 to be the lowest-priced holiday at the pump this summer, with Labor Day a bit uncertain due to hurricane season.

“It looks like it’ll be a busy start to the summer driving season, and while Americans gripe about the cost of gasoline, it doesn’t seem that too many are going to be deterred from hitting the road,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.  

“Great news for those who are planning to travel: Motorists are likely to see more stations lowering prices to $2.99 per gallon or less as the summer wears on, and refiners ramp up output after finishing maintenance,” De Haan added.

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, prices at the U.S. pump have fallen for four straight weeks, GasBuddy said on Monday.

AAA estimates showed last week that road trips during Memorial Day weekend are to set hit a record-high—38.4 million people are set to travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking in 2000. 

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AAA expects 43.8 million Americans to head 50 miles or more from home by all means of transportation over the Memorial Day holiday travel period between Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27, 2024. This would be the highest in nearly two decades, AAA said.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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