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Arizonans Set for Record Road Trips as Gas Prices Drop76% of Americans plan to hit the road as gas prices fall ahead of Memorial Day

By on May 24, 2024 0 21Views

GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform providing North American drivers with the most ways to save money on gas, today released its 2024 Summer Travel Survey results and forecast for Memorial Day travel. The survey reveals that a near-record number of Americans, including many Arizonans, plan to road trip this summer as gas prices continue to decline ahead of the holiday weekend. GasBuddy estimates the national average will hold in the mid-$3 per gallon range for much of the summer, with potentially tens of thousands of stations falling below $3 per gallon throughout the next several months. GasBuddy forecasts that gas prices will average $3.58 per gallon nationally between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

More Arizonans Plan to Hit the Road

According to GasBuddy’s survey, 76% of Americans plan to take a road trip between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, up 18% from 2023. The average traveler has two road trips planned, with many venturing far – 49% expect to drive 5 or more hours to reach their destination. For Arizonans, this means more trips to cooler destinations like Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, or even neighboring states to escape the summer heat.

Setting the Stage for Major Travel Holidays

Among major travel holidays, Memorial Day is the most popular with 60% planning a road trip, followed by Independence Day at 45% and Labor Day at 34%. Over half (58%) of road trippers have already confirmed their plans by booking accommodation. GasBuddy expects July 4 to be the lowest-priced holiday at the pump, with Labor Day a bit uncertain due to hurricane season.

Gas Prices are a Major Factor in Where to Stop

While road trips may reign supreme, expenses are a major factor shaping summer travel this year. 63% of survey respondents cited cost as their top consideration when planning trips. 46% said high gas costs this year have impacted their itineraries. And though price reigns in importance, few Americans are looking at an electric vehicle to alleviate fuel costs: just some 15% of respondents are thinking about purchasing an EV.

Tips to Spend Less at the Pump, All Summer Long

While prices at the pump won’t reach record highs this year, drivers can leverage tools to save substantially on summer road trip gas.

  1. Use the GasBuddy app: Before getting low on gas, plan your next fill-up and find the lowest priced station on your route. Savings can range from 10 to 50 cents per gallon over just a few blocks.
  2. Mind the line: State lines can bring significant changes in gasoline taxes. Arizonans traveling to neighboring states like California, Nevada, or New Mexico should be vigilant during their road trip as picking the right side of the line can result in savings or additional spending of 25 cents to $2 per gallon.
  3. Take advantage of loyalty programs: Many gas stations offer bonus savings or introductory offers that can save you up to 25 cents per gallon.
  4. Consider how you pay: Pay with GasBuddy offers Deal Alerts with savings up to 25 cents per gallon. If you prefer cash, more stations are offering cash discounts this summer.

“It looks like it’ll be a busy start to the summer driving season, and while Americans gripe about the cost of gasoline, it doesn’t seem that too many are going to be deterred from hitting the road. Great news for those who are planning to travel: Motorists are likely to see more stations lowering prices to $2.99 per gallon or less as the summer wears on, and refiners ramp up output after finishing maintenance,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Hurricane season is a major wildcard for those hitting the road this summer, but absent a major storm in the Gulf, gas prices should not be much of a hindrance for those taking a road trip.”