WASHINGTON (TND) — Millions of Americans taking advantage of the long holiday weekend were met with painful prices at the pumps.
AAA reported the national average for regular gasoline rose to a new record of $4.62 a gallon Monday, up by nearly a penny from Sunday and 44 cents more expensive than a month ago.
This time last year, the average price per gallon for regular gas was $3.05. CNN reported seven states are now averaging $5 per gallon, the latest addition being Illinois (rounded up from $4.996).
New York and Arizona are mere pennies away from hitting that milestone. As of Memorial Day 2022, there were no states where gas prices averaged less than $4.10 a gallon. Despite the high gas prices, AAA predicted 39.2 million people would travel for the unofficial start of summer.
This is an increase of 8.3% over 2021, bringing travel volumes almost in line with those in 2017, according to a news release.
“Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president with AAA Travel. “Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months.”
Despite the push to get out and travel, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows gas prices haven't been this high heading into Memorial Day weekend since 2012. The all-time high for average inflation-adjusted gas prices was set in June 2008 at $5.38 a gallon, CNN said.
Some contributing factors to consider when it comes to soaring gas prices: