Memorial Day Weekend Catastrophe

Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash

This is such a mess.

Memorial Day weekend is typically the start of vacation-relation travel and the traditional start of summer, but this year it’s set to be untypically expensive in the wake of soaring gas prices.

Last week, the average price of regular gas in every state finally breached $4 a gallon, with regular gas in California breaching $6 a gallon. Despite this, the AAA is predicting travel for the 3-day weekend to reach pre-pandemic levels.

AAA’s forecast projects an 8.3 percent increase in travel compared to travel over Memorial Day weekend in 2021, with car travel set to reach 93 percent of pre-pandemic volume.

Lawmakers are also keeping a keen eye on this weekend’s travel to ascertain their approach to pain at the pump.

Republican Senator Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), stated, “Everybody’s feeling pain now, or they’re going to as we’re coming out of the big travel weekend,” adding that at the end of the weekend lawmakers would have “some data that will be helpful… instructive” as they consider “what to do next.”

Devin Gladden, AAA National’s manager for federal affairs, noted that the weekend’s demand is unlikely to be reflective of summer, stating, “It’s still an open question about what demand will look like for the summer as prices remain high.”

Gladden added that softer demand as a result of high prices “could drive demand down.”