TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The average cost of gas in Florida inched slightly downward ahead of Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.
On Sunday, the average price of gasoline was $4.48 per gallon. That’s 3 cents lower than the record high set last week.
Nearly 2.2 million Floridians are expected to hit the road for the holiday weekend, traveling over 50 miles. That’s 5.4% more than last year, according to AAA.
AAA predicts more than 39.2 million Americans will be on the road for the holiday.
“Even though pump prices have moved slightly lower, gas prices on Memorial Day are still forecast to be the holiday’s most expensive yet,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “A combination of tightening global supplies and strengthening demand are the main culprits behind this unprecedented pain at the pump. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a quick end in sight. Gas prices are likely to continue fluctuating throughout the summer and remain well above year-ago levels.”
According to AAA, the highest Memorial Day average gas price was set in 2008 at $3.93 per gallon. Last year, the Memorial Day average gas price was $2.86 per gallon.
As of this writing, the current average price of gasoline in Florida is $4.477. The national average is $4.596.
The current average in Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice is $4.471. In Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, it’s $4.453. In Lakeland-Winter Haven, the current average is $4.453 per gallon. Sebring’s current average is $4.453 per gallon.
“Coming out of this 2-year pandemic, Floridians are eager to travel again, and it doesn’t seem like record high gas prices or other inflationary pressures will stop them,” Jenkins said. “Many may look at cost cutting measures to offset the added expense, like driving shorter distances, staying in a less expensive hotel, or spending less on shopping, dining and entertainment.”
AAA offers the following tips to help drivers save money on the road:
- Leave early to avoid congestion and more time on the road.
- Reduce food costs by packing snacks and water.
- Consider staying at an all-inclusive resort. This limits driving and paying a la carte for entertainment and dining.
- Compare gas prices with the free AAA Mobile app. Filling stations near airports and attractions often have the highest prices.
- Use AAA’s Gas Cost Calculator to determine how much you can expect to spend on gasoline during your trip.
- Use loyalty programs like the AAA membership, which provides discounted rates on hotels, dining, even gasoline.
The Thursday and Friday before Memorial Day are expected to be peak travel days. According to AAA, drivers could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.