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Rising Gas Prices Leaves Some Staying Home For Holiday Weekend

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Memorial Day weekend is often considered the first warm, weather travel weekend of the year, with many people heading out of town to various destinations. But with rising gas prices, can we expect to see more people staying close to home?

"I haven't seen these types of prices in all my life," said truck driver Sam Bullert.

Whether you're heading to the cabin, or just across town, you can't avoid the pumped-up prices. In Minnesota, it's now $4.23 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas. Diesel is a dollar higher than that, and truck drivers like Brandon Petersen have taken notice.

"Really not sure what's going to be happening with it but hopefully it doesn't go up any higher," said Petersen. "Several months ago they were just creeping into $4 and now it's crept up into $5 a gallon."

Despite that, AAA said Minnesota is still 30 cents below the national average when it comes to diesel and regular unleaded gas.

"The trends we have been seeing all spring is that there is a pent-up demand for travel," said Meredith Mitts of AAA Minnesota and Iowa.

They expect nearly 40 million Americans to travel this weekend, 34 million of them by vehicle. Not quite pre-pandemic levels, but getting close. Mitts said right now the rising gas prices aren't stopping people from vacationing, but they are causing them to modify their travel habits.

"Instead they will look for other cost-saving measures such as taking the most fuel-efficient vehicle, staying at a lower budget hotel, maybe not going quite as far from home so changing where they are going," said Mitts.

Still, Mitts believes this is just the start of some very busy months ahead on Minnesota roadways.

"Based on what we've been seeing so far, the summer travel season looks like it's going to be really good, a good year where people are coming back. They are feeling confident," said Mitts.


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