AAA Poll: Most Americans Still Plan Vacations Despite High Gasoline Prices

But the survey found most are figuring high gas prices into their travel budgets.

Baltimore, Md. (KM) – Despite higher gasoline prices compared to last year, many Americans are still planning to take a summer vacation this year. A poll by AAA finds that a majority¬† of respondents will be taking the Great American Road Trip this summer. “What we are seeing is that is despite the higher cost of travel, be it gas prices or even other costs, the level of pent up demand and the desire to travel in the wake of the COVID pandemic can certainly not be overstated,”; says Ragina Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The survey also found that almost 65% of drivers say they’ve adjusted their daily driving habits because of gas prices. Among those cutting back, 45% say they are consolidating or running fewer errands, and more than 50% are limiting their driving in any way they can.

For those planning to travel, the AAA survey says about one-third of respondents are making fewer  trips due to gasoline prices; almost 15% say they are taking shorter trips; nearly 20% say they are adjusting their travel budget for dining or lodging because of the cost of filling up; and 35% indicate gas prices have not been a consideration.

When it comes to commuting to and from work, the AAA survey has found that only 40% of Maryland drivers commute to  work as they always have; approximately 20% say they are working from home more often; about 10% say they carpool or ride share more often to work; and slightly  more than 5% say they are using public transportation more often.

The survey of 775 Maryland residents was conducted between June 17-18, 2022 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of plus or minus 3.6%, AAA says.

The auto club has a number of services for drivers to find the least expensive gasoline whether in their home towns or  traveling to other communities. Motorists can use the AAA app or AAA Fuel Finder to locate the least expensive gas in their communities. There’s also AAA Gas Cost Calculator to help drivers budget accordingly when they travel.

“We certainly always encourage motorists and travelers to shop around,” says Ali. “We know gas prices can vary dramatically from county to county in the state, but from state to state.”

AAA says the price of gasoline is going down across the country after it reached the $5.00 per gallon level last month. In Maryland, the average price is $4.62 per gallon, which is down from $4.74 per gallon a week ago, and down from $5.01 per gallon in June. The average price of gasoline a year ago was $3.00 per gallon. The auto club says the average price in Frederick is $4.59 per gallon, which is down from $4.71 per gallon a week ago, and from $4.98 per gallon last month. AAA says the price in Frederick a year ago was $2.95 per gallon.

By Kevin McManus