Gas prices are on the rise this year, but that’s not stopping summer travel plans for most Americans. According to a new GasBuddy survey, nearly 75% of respondents are planning a road trip — despite 38% saying rising gas prices are influencing their summer travel plans.
“A lot of us are driving as a result of the very strong economy,” Patrick DeHaan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, tells Yahoo Finance’s “The Ticker.” “We feel pretty good overall that gas prices are still in the $2 range in much of the country. And that’s propelling motorists to hit the road through the course of the summer.”
Currently the national average price for regular gasoline is hovering just above $2.80 a gallon — after pump prices peaked in earlier this month. According to GasBuddy, the national average soared over 60 cents a gallon between January 1 to May 4. While DeHaan predicts gas prices in June are likely to decrease, other factors could influence prices, like the upcoming hurricane season or a trade deal with China.
Despite these factors, more people are planning long-distance trips. In the same survey, 42% say they plan on driving more than 500 miles round-trip, compared to 31% last year. The survey was comprised of 1,680 GasBuddy members on April 24, 2019.
DeHaan also forecasts the West Coast will likely see the biggest decline regionally for gas prices. “They’ll see a lot of relief as those refinery issues are behind us. And then you’ll see some relief across much of the rest of the country to a smaller degree of maybe 5-10 cents a gallon of relief,” DeHaan said.
McKenzie Stratigopoulos is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @McKenzieBeehler