CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Despite the fluctuation in gas prices, AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts this weekend will be a record-breaking holiday travel period. The association estimates that 1.3 million people will be traveling this weekend, with 1.2 million traveling by car.
With this many drivers expected to be on the road this weekend, the total number of travelers could add up to half of a percent higher than the record set last year, and two percentage points higher than during the Fourth of July in 2019.
It’s clear the recent uptick in gas prices is not stopping drivers from getting where they need to go. However, inflation has prompted some drivers to consider all of their options before they make a plan.
“I think if I do plan on traveling, I will travel anyway. What I’ll do is explore the options that are available to me,” Trina Addison said.
Virginia’s gas price average on Monday was $4.72, down 14 cents from the all-time record high of $4.86 on June 14. The state average on Wednesday, June 29, was $1.80 more than drivers were paying during the holiday weekend last year.
Many drivers have also adjusted their travel plans to accommodate for the strain that comes with the increase in gas prices.
“Instead of taking two cars we’ve just been trying to carpool a lot, and just taking into consideration when I’m going to fill up my tank,” said Liam McNichol who is traveling to New Jersey this weekend. “And trying to scout out which areas might have lower gas prices as opposed to the others.”
Whether you plan on driving, flying or taking other means of transportation, AAA recommends traveling earlier rather than later to avoid heavy traffic.
“We also know that today and tomorrow are going to be the busiest days on the roadway. Middle of the day is when that traffic tends to build up so if drivers can leave early in the morning or later into the night and travel, they might run into less of that travel,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean said.