BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – As gas prices reach their highest levels ever ahead of Memorial Day weekend, travelers are getting ready to spend more on fuel.
Billy Castelli and his wife are among many already on a vacation. They made their way through the Tri-Cities from Missouri on Thursday.
“We’re road tripping, went through Gatlinburg, going to West Virginia, and then over to Kentucky and then back home,” Castelli said. “That’s going to be like five to 600 dollars in gas.”
Castelli’s family is among millions taking trips this spring and summer and paying for it at the pump.
“We are expecting to see the highest ever gas prices for Memorial Day,” AAA representative Megan Cooper said. “The previous record that was held for Memorial Day happened in 2008, and at that point we were seeing gas prices around $3.82.”
Cooper said some may want to consider air travel because flying may be cheaper than driving at this point.
Although vacationer Alex Shmalko and his family are traveling all over the United States on their vacation, they said that for them, driving was the only option.
“We have a small baby,” Shmalko said. “It’s not easy for us, it’s more easy to drive for us.”
If you still want to travel by car during the soaring gas prices, what should you do?
Cooper recommends making sure your vehicle is well maintained, traveling lighter and making sure you know your route before you get in the car. They say despite the cost, they don’t expect travel to slow down too much.
“Right now Tennesseans are the most comfortable traveling they have been since the pandemic began,” Cooper said. “Looking forward to Memorial Day and summer travel, we’re really expecting that pent-up demand over the last couple of years to be unleashed in the market this summer.”
Vacationers said they’ll be cutting costs in other areas to pay for their trip.
“I’ve already spent over 200 dollars something in gas, and I’m only halfway there, so yeah having to adjust the vacation for it,” Castelli said. “After this I already said we’re probably not going anywhere else the rest of the year.”
Around 800,000 Tennesseans are expected to take a trip over Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.