ST. LOUIS – Memorial Day weekend is in full swing, and drivers are feeling the pain at the pump with gas prices shattering records.
For the last 17 days, the American Automobile Association reports that the average gas price nationally has either risen or stayed the same. Many are forking over double what they used to pay for a full tank.
According to AAA, the national average for gas currently is $4.60 per gallon. The average cost for a gallon of regular gas in St. Louis is currently $4.42. That’s nearly a quarter more than the Missouri statewide average of $4.17. The average for Illinois inching closer to the 5-dollar mark at $4.96 per gallon.
For some, like Michele McGuire, the high prices have put a damper on their travel plans. She is opting to stay home instead.
“I mean, gas prices are just astronomical right now, it’s ridiculous when you fill up your tank and it’s two, almost three times the price of what it was,” said McGuire. “I think just staying a little closer to home with the gas prices just makes a little more sense right now.”
McGuire used to only fill up her tank for less than $40. Now she’s spending $70 per fill-up.
“You kind of have to pick and choose and really budget,” said McGuire, “Are you going go away on a trip and spend a bunch on gas or food? People have to choose whether they’re going to feed their family or go on a trip and I think that’s a no-brainer.”
Rising gas prices won’t stop everyone from traveling though.
“I mean, you don’t really have a choice, you kind do it,” said driver Kyle Doherty, “Fortunately, I can do it, but some people aren’t as fortunate.”
Whether you drive or fly, Americans are making moves. According to AAA, 39.2 million drivers will be on the roads across the country and three million people will be hopping on flights this weekend.
AAA expects the roads to be jampacked with a 10% increase from Memorial Day last year, nearing pre-pandemic levels.
“We know that people have had to put off their Memorial Day weekend vacations for the last couple of years and they’re ready to make up for it now,” said AAA Missouri Spokesperson, Nick Chabarria.
Whether you’re filling up for a long trip or just to get around town, drivers are still feeling that pinch at the pump. If you took a trip, you may have noticed it’s not just gas prices making it a hard weekend for those on a budget. Hotels, rental cars and travel costs in general are also up compared to recent years.