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Business & Economics

Survey says despite record fuel prices, Americans are still planning summer road trips

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Gas prices are anticipated to be the most expensive on record for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. While more Americans are planning road trips compared to last year, a recent survey shows they're still hesitant to lock in summer plans.

By the end of May, gas prices are forecast to be about $4.65 per gallon, a 51% increase from last year, according to fuel price tracking service GasBuddy.

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan is not anticipating relief anytime soon, with prices expected to peak in mid-July.

“Refineries are struggling to keep up with insatiable demand, so it’s going to be a pricey summer,” De Haan said.

He said a survey of nearly 2,000 GasBuddy members suggested that nearly 60% of Americans intend to take a road trip this summer. That’s one percentage point more than this time last year, when gas prices were nearly $1.50 lower.

The biggest difference between then and now is consumer confidence: Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents have yet to confirm their trips, with 38% of them saying concerns about high inflation are preventing them from booking summer plans.

Nearly 90% of visitors came to Montana by car last year, according to a report from the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.

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