Even though pump prices for gasoline have increased recently, they remain about 35 cents a gallon below last summer’s price and are predicted to hit a 12-year low this summer. Road trips are back on the agenda, according to AAA. Some 55% of Americans are planning a road trip this summer to take advantage of the low gasoline prices.
More than a third of Americans are planning a family vacation more than 50 miles from home in the next 12 months. Those vacations consist of road trips (69%), visits to national parks (49%) and theme park visits (42%). Rounding out the top five vacation trips are international travel (26%) and cruises (19%).
U.S. drivers could save up to $15 billion on gasoline this summer compared with last summer’s cost, an amount AAA figures is worth about $70 for each licensed driver. Motorists have saved about $12 billion already this year thanks to low pump prices.
Compared with the summer of 2014, when gasoline average more than $3.50 a gallon, driver savings this summer could amount to as much as $40 billion, or about $200 per licensed driver in the United States.
Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing, said:
Two-thirds of Americans say spending quality time as a family is the most important part of taking a family vacation. Whether it’s a cross-country road trip or a dream vacation to a far-off destination, travel offers busy families an excellent opportunity to share experiences and connect with each other in meaningful ways.
The country’s national parks are gearing up for their 100th birthday celebration this year. The National Park Service expects some parks to reach their capacity during peak travel periods, so it’s important to plan well ahead. The parks are also waiving usual entry fees on four occasions this year: April 16 through 24 (now!), August 25 through 28, September 24 and November 11.