Hitting the Road This Memorial Day? Be Ready to Pay

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2014 - NOTD

That’s the last time gas prices were this high for Memorial Day weekend, crimping the wallets of millions of people planning to celebrate this summer’s unofficial start by hitting the road in the days ahead.

The national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline as of Monday is $3.03, according to data from AAA. To find the last time we’ve paid that much for gas heading into Memorial Day, you’d have to go back seven years, to 2014, when the price was $3.65 per gallon.

Current prices at the pump are actually down from a 2021 peak of $3.04—set last week—but still much higher than what we’ve been paying for most of the pandemic. The average gallon will cost you 17 cents more than it did last month, and $1.08 more than it did last Memorial Day.

The culprit? Increased interest in travel this year, combined with knock-on effects from the recent shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. The pipeline, which carries 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, is back in operation following a cyberattack. But AAA said some gas stations in the southeastern U.S. continue to experience supply strain that will affect your wallet—but not your ability to fill up—this weekend.

AAA estimates that 37 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 60% increase over last year when the pandemic put a damper on most activities.