Skip to content

More Americans to Hit the Road This Summer Even as Gas Prices Hit New Records

Seventy percent say their travel plans were affected by high gas prices, affordability drives decision making 

BOSTON (May 19, 2022) — GasBuddy, a PDI company, today released the results of its annual summer  travel survey revealing that even with record-high gasoline prices, 58% of Americans intend to road trip this  summer, a rise from last summer, when gas prices were nearly $1.50 per gallon lower. While the high  prices may not stand in the way of Americans’ summer travel plans, nearly two-thirds have yet to confirm  their plans, with 38% saying that high inflation is leading to difficulty in planning summer trips. 

The average gas price in the U.S. topped $4.50 per gallon following a short reprieve in April, and has  recently reached new all-time highs. Record-breaking gas prices and general inflation are affecting  Americans’ desire to travel with only a one percentage point increase in travel intent year over year, and still  18% lower than 2019’s pre-pandemic level. Gas prices on Memorial Day weekend are forecast to be about  $4.65 per gallon, a 51% increase from last year. GasBuddy expects the average price from Memorial Day to  Labor Day to be $4.40 per gallon nationally, though significant events could raise or lower the outcome. 

Summer Travel Trends 

When asked about inflation’s effects on travel plans, 70% said their summer travel plans have been affected  by high gas prices (an increase of 24% over 2021). More than a third indicated that high inflation has made  planning more difficult, and the majority (65%) are taking only one or two road trips. 

The most common amount of time traveled by car will be between two to three and over five hours.  Memorial Day Weekend (47%) will be the most popular travel weekend followed by Independence Day  (33%) and Labor Day (31%).  

“Against a backdrop of gas prices that have continued to set new records ahead of Memorial Day,  Americans have been resilient in their desire to hit the road, but we’re certainly seeing increased hesitancy  due to rising prices at the pump. Soaring inflation has led to uncertainty over rising costs,” said Patrick De 

Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The Covid factor is still present, but has been dwarfed  this year by Americans’ concern over high gas prices and dwindling affordable travel options to make use of  best months of the year.” 

Impact on Retail 

While this summer’s road trip travel trends will likely result in an increase in convenience store purchases  due to ‘typical’ seasonal patterns, significant year-over-year sales growth is not expected and there is  potential for a decline based on consumer spending concerns. 

“Consumer confidence is lower than we’ve seen in many years. Some sources even suggest that  confidence is lower than during the 2008 recession,” said Dafna Gabel, VP, Strategic Insights for PDI  Software. “Those surveyed in 2022 shared that inflation has impacted behavior at the pump and in-store  across the US. Barring significant shifts in inflation, these behavior adjustments are expected to continue.”  

In fact, even with the expected summer increase in travel, consumer behavior has already begun to shift at  the pump and in-store, and it is likely that in-store shoppers will continue to buy fewer items during each trip,  despite an increase in frequency.  

Money-Saving Tips 

  • Change the way you drive. Most vehicles today achieve optimal fuel economy around 55mph. By  anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may  increase by as much as 25%, saving the equivalent of 50 cents to $1 per gallon. 
  • Shop around online and off to find the best price per gallon. The GasBuddy app allows drivers to  easily and conveniently compare prices whether in their local area or on a road trip.  Sign up for gas rewards and other loyalty programs through retailers to take advantage of discounts  available. Also review your credit card benefits, many offer cash back for gas purchases.  

GasBuddy Summer Travel Survey was completed by 1,971 GasBuddy members between April 28 – May 2,  2022. Summer travel is defined as the period between May 31 – Sept. 9, 2022 (Memorial Day through Labor  Day). 

About GasBuddy 

GasBuddy, a PDI company, is the leading fuel savings platform providing North American drivers with the  most ways to save money on gas. GasBuddy has delivered more than $3 billion in cumulative savings to its  users through providing real-time gas price information at 150,000+ stations, offering cash back rewards on  purchases with brand partners, and through the Pay with GasBuddy™ payments card that offers cents-off  per gallon at virtually all gas stations across the US. As one of the most highly rated apps in the history of  the App Store, GasBuddy has been downloaded nearly 100 million times. Acquired by PDI Software in  2021, GasBuddy’s publishing and software businesses enable the world’s leading fuel, convenience, QSR  and CPG companies to shorten the distance between the fueling public and their brands. For more  information, visit www.gasbuddy.com

Leave a Comment