Will Rising Gas Prices Play a Role in Consumer Summer Travel Plans?

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Summer vacations have never been cheap. Americans, as a whole, spent $100 billion on summer vacations in 2017, according to a report released by Allianz Global Assistance. While older generations are likely to spend more money on travel, even thrifty millenials spend on average $1,373 on summer travel. With this being the case, rising gasoline prices could influence summer travel plans starting this Memorial Day weekend.

This year, 41.5 million Americans plan to travel over the Memorial Day Weekend, according to the AAA. Nearly 37 million plan to drive to their destination. Currently, the average gas prices hover near $3 per gallon, and this could have an impact on how consumers plan to spend their vacation time.

Whether or not these high prices will affect the number of people who travel this summer is yet to be seen. GasBuddy predicted in their Annual Summer Travel Survey that the high prices will negatively impact travel, and that 24% fewer people will travel during summer 2018 than in 2017. Those who do travel may choose to stay closer to home and have shorter vacations than in previous years.

Andrew Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, commented:

Americans haven’t experienced prices like these in nearly three years, and it is possible that these prices could hold steady or continue to rise throughout the whole summer. One major cost associated with traveling might hurt summer travel this year – transportation. For those driving this summer, high gas prices present a growing concern.

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