More than 39 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more across the country this Memorial Day weekend, including 2.2 million Floridians–10 percent of the state’s population–even as gas prices hit a new record of $4.58 a gallon in the state on Thursday.
Most of that traveling–89 percent–will be by car, according to AAA, with almost 35 million people taking to the roads despite high prices.
In Palm Coast, Gas Buddy reports gas prices at between $4.56 and $4.59 a gallon at the RaceTracs and Wawa on State Road 100, and as high as $4.69 at the Mobil station on the same road. The lowest reported price in the region is $4.45 at Hess on U.S. 1, south of Korona. Gas was selling at $4.3 a gallon at the Buc-ee’s near World Golf Village, north of Palm Coast, and at $4.19 a gallon at the Buc-ee’s on LPGA Boulevard and I-95 in Daytona Beach.
The national average on the eve of Memorial Day is $4.6 a gallon, with gas prices at $6 a gallon in California and $4.1 in Georgia. Oil prices are around $110 a barrel, the result of sanctions on Russia (the world’s third-largest poil producer behind the United States and Saudi Arabia. Russia before the war accounted for 11 percent of world production). Oil sanctions against Iran, the world’s seventh-largest producer, also continue to push prices up.
In Florida, prices tend to rise the further south, and to drop in the Panhandle. Counties in the the northeastern part of the state see prices at the state average, between $4.59 to $4.57 a gallon, except in Flagler and Putnam, where prices are higher. (See AAA’s county map here.)
“By the looks of this Memorial Day travel forecast, the summer travel season is off to a sizzlin’ start,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA. “People are more comfortable traveling now than any other time in the past two years, and travel bookings are a reflection of that. Reservations for flights, hotels, and cruises for Memorial Day weekend are twice as strong as last year’s holiday and that momentum will likely carry into the summer.”
A recent AAA survey found that Floridians are more comfortable traveling now than any time during the past two years. That increased comfort is driving growth in all modes of transportation this year, especially air travel–despite a steep rise in Covid cases that began two weeks ago in Florida and in Flagler County. Covid cases in Florida are up 54 percent in the last 14 days, hospitalizations are up 52 percent, in a state where only 67 percent are fully vaccinated, and a far lower proportion are boosted.
One faint silver lining: inflation eased in April, if not by much. The Personal Consumption Expenditures index–an alternative to the Consumer Price Index–increased 6.3 percent compared to a year ago, down from a 6.6 percent increase in March. Personal income increased 0.4 percent in April, and disposable income increased 0.3 percent, according to a Commerce Department report, which in part explains the ongoing consumer splurge: consumer spending rose 0.9 percent in April, and rose a revised 1.4 percent in march, a very fast pace.
Saty and Stay Safe! How hight do we need to raise these prices before you all just get the point and stay home!! We are in the hieght of a pandemic people hello!!
Grey Man says
Even Lord Fauci says America is out of the pandemic phase. It’s probably time to turn off the TV and live.
Grill you Later says
Stay home…..Relax…. Save Money…. Save Gas….PIG OUT on BBQ , Watermelon, Fried Chicken, Cole Slaw, Corn on the Cob, Apple Pie, Fresh Rolls….. And BEER…………..plenty of BEER.