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Rising gas prices results in less recreational driving

Rising gas prices results in less recreational driving
Gas Station Pump. Gasoline and Diesel Pump. Fuel Distributor - Fuel Choice. Closeup Photo.

BOSTON — Rising gas prices have put a crimp in travel plans this summer as more Americans are planning staycations instead of hitting the road, according to GasBuddy’s 2018 Summer Travel survey.

According to the annual survey, only 58 percent said they will take a road trip this summer, a 24 percent decrease from last year, while 39 percent cited high gas prices for impacting their summer travel decisions, compared to 19 percent in 2017.

The decrease in motorist’s appetite to hit the road comes at a time when the national average gasoline price is at its highest point since November 2014 due to a recent rally in oil prices because of long-term OPEC production cuts, the U.S. exiting the Iran nuclear deal, declining U.S. oil inventories and high demand, the release noted.

Gas prices are expected to hit $2.95 per gallon on Memorial Day, a 65-cent increase over Memorial Day last year, costing motorists $1 billion more from Thursday to Monday alone.

The impact of high gas prices will be felt well beyond Memorial Day.

“With refineries now well positioned for the summer months, we may see some relief in mid-June, but expect this summer to remain the priciest since 2014 with a strong likelihood of the national average hitting the psychological $3 per gallon barrier sometime this summer should we see any unexpected outages or geopolitical tensions flare,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

GasBuddy’s 2018 Summer Travel Survey Highlights:

  • Trips closer to home. Americans who are taking a road trip this summer aren’t covering as much ground. Only 31 percent will be driving more than 500 miles round trip, compared to 56 percent in 2017.
  • Less time away. Twenty-five percent fewer people plan to take trips longer than one week this summer compared to last year, while weekend trips are up 17 percent.
  • Overpaying for gasoline #1 road trip fear. With higher gas prices this summer, the number one road trip fear is overpaying at the pump, followed by the car breaking down and needing to use a restroom but unsure of which gas stations have clean facilities.
  • When deciding where to stop, travelers care about convenience and price. The top 3 factors when choosing a pit stop include:
    • (1) convenient location
    • (2) gas prices
    • (3) curb appeal

SOURCE: Gas Buddy press release

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.


  1. Prices around the Indianapolis area have been over $3/gallon for over a week.

  2. Just returned from a month long trip. Diesel fuel costs totaled nearly $700. Not complaining as we traveled in a comfortable truck pulling around 14,000#. Add CG fees, entertainment, gifts, and more and the month cost over $2000. Monthly CG fees as a FL snowbird are over $2000. Maybe all these new RVs are being purchased by those thinking they can park free at the closest beach and are in for a big surprise. I still believe no matter the cost of fuel we are going to see a glut of used units on the market when reality sets in.

    • Capt you hit the nail on the head regarding used units which in my opine is the only way to go. You take a tremendous hit on deprecation on a new unit as you drive off the lot. Anyways, after the high fuel cost subsides and the CG open up with more spaces available as a result of used units glutting the market I will again reconsider buying another unit. Sold mine in Fedruary 2018 just before the fuel cost went up…

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