Low Gas Prices Prompt More Summer Road Trips
More Americans are planning to hit the road this summer compared to 2015, according to the annual summer travel study conducted by GasBuddy. Over 75 percent said they would be traveling this summer, a 2.2 percent increase from last year, with an overwhelming majority (79 percent) doing so by car.
The staggering differences in gas prices from previous summers are playing a part in the influx of road trips. At $2.23, the current national average is almost 50 cents per gallon lower today than a year ago. In some states, the drop in even more dramatic — California’s average price is over $1 per gallon cheaper than 2015.
People are noticing too: 26 percent said they will take advantage of low prices compared to just 17 percent saying the same thing last summer.
“Motorists will be filling up their tanks with the cheapest summer gasoline since 2005 and we are finding that more people than ever will be taking advantage by hitting the road,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “As we kick off driving season, gas prices will be nearly a dollar per gallon lower than the ten year Memorial Day average of $3.15 per gallon. The incredible part is nationally, we’ll be saving $2.6 billion over the long weekend versus the highest-priced Memorial Day weekend in 2011 at $3.78 per gallon.”
Highlights from GasBuddy’s 2016 Summer Travel Survey
• People are traveling more for leisure rather than obligation. 53 percent are traveling to relax and take in local culture versus 27 percent seeing family/ friends or going to an event. Last year, 51 percent chose vacations for relaxation or culture and 29 percent for visits or events.
• Over 56 percent will journey on average at least 400 miles round trip.
• 36 percent plan to take at least two road trips.
• People are feeling less pressure to stay longer; there was a 4 percent increase in day trips over 2015.