For drivers hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, filling up will be a little less taxing than in recent years.
Gas prices will be at their lowest since 2005, according to AAA, and 55 percent of Americans report a road trip is more likely due to the smaller burden of filling up the tank. The nonprofit travel organization estimates more than 38 million Americans will journey from home this holiday weekend, the second-highest total in recorded history. About 34 million of them will drive to their destination, according to a release.
“Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade,” AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney said in a release. “The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices, and millions of people from coast to coast are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”
Currently $2.323 a gallon, the national price is down 42.2 cents from last year’s average of $2.745, according to GasBuddy.com. In Pennsylvania, the average of $2.468 is down 37.1 cents from a year ago.
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Gas prices, however, are at their highest total of the year, up from their lowest average of $1.696 a gallon in February. GasBuddy found that prices have trended upward in each month since that nadir. According to the site, California ranks as having the highest state average ($2.810), while Mississippi boasts the lowest ($2.074). Pennsylvania comes in at 12th highest.
A recent GasBuddy study found that more than 56 percent plan to travel at least 400 miles on a round trip this summer. The survey also found that 26 percent reported they will avail themselves of the lower prices compared to 17 percent last year, according to a release.
The Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates 4,000 people will be coming into the area for the Happy Volley volleyball club championships this weekend.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy