SAN ANTONIO – Tyler Ashbaugh is planning his first road trip in more than a year. He’s pretty pumped.
“I have plans to take my wife for her birthday down to the coast,” he said.
He can expect to share the road. For the Memorial Day weekend, AAA anticipates three million Texans will travel, most by car. That’s a 60% rebound from last year’s summer kickoff.
“We’ve got more people getting vaccinated. There’s certainly pent-up demand,” said AAA’s Daniel Armbruster. “It shows Texans are ready to get out and travel.”
Prices are accelerating, too. The local average Tuesday was $2.59 a gallon, a 12 cent jump from one week ago.
It caught Grace Flecha by surprise as she filled up her tank.
“Oh, my!” she said. “I hadn’t looked. $2.70 is too much.”
But, don’t blame the bump on the hacked Colonial petroleum pipeline. While a temporary shutdown of the pipeline may impact states farther to the east, analysts at Gas Buddy say it will have zero impact on Texas’ gas supply and should not affect prices here.
What will continue to drive up prices is revved up demand.
Currently, San Antonio drivers are paying more for gas than they have in three years, and a lot more than last year when the average plummeted to $1.40 per gallon.
Although Memorial weekend travel is still expected to be less than pre-pandemic levels, road tripping is back, and AAA says that’s a strong indicator of the summer ahead.