LYNCHBURG, Va. – The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States was $4.59 Tuesday, with it being slightly better in Virginia at $4.46 — both of which were all-time highs ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend.
This holiday hustle has some drivers considering a staycation over a vacation.
“It’s just too expensive to travel,” said one Lynchburg driver.
“It’s going be a lot more of a pinch than it was last year, for sure,” said another driver.
That pinch at the pump is already a record in Virginia, according to AAA.
“We’re paying a $1.50 more per gallon than we were at this holiday last year, which is a pretty dramatic number when you think about it. We’ve never seen a Memorial Day from year-to-year jump like that,” said Morgan Dean, spokesperson for the AAA Mid-Atlantic Division.
He says the leading factors are the supply and demand for crude oil and the usual summer season.
Dean says it’s too early to tell exactly what drivers will pay this upcoming weekend.
Prices have stabilized over the past few days, but it’s still up an average of $4.46 in the Commonwealth.
“$4.64 is tied with the record we set last Friday for an all-time record-high gas price in the state of Virginia,” said Dean.
AAA expects more than one million Virginians to travel Memorial Day weekend, with 90 percent of them hitting the roads.
Dean says one thing you can do to maximize your miles per gallon is to distance yourself from bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“Best time to leave is before 6 A.M. or after 9 P.M. You’re trying to avoid those morning and evening rush hours,” said Dean.
Another tip is to avoid strapping your belongings to the roof of your car, or putting them in a car-top container, because it can slow you down. Dean says instead, pack your trunk like you’re playing a game of Tetris.
What can also drag your car is low tire pressure. Deans says you should get that, as well as other routine maintenance, done now.
Finally, Dean says you should use apps that show cheaper gas prices along your route — but have a passenger check for you or pull over since you can’t be on your phone while driving.