Will the price of gas affect summer travel plans? Experts, travelers weigh in

According to UK Director of Business and Economic Research Dr. Michael Clark, gas prices likely won't decrease during the summer months

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With the continued increase in gas prices, many are wondering if summer travel will be affected after last weekend kicked off the start of summer travel.

According to AAA, due to a softening in demand, gas prices increased only slightly last week ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

Dr. Michael Clark, UK’s Director of Business and Economic Research says gas prices likely aren’t going down over the summer as they typically go up due to increased travel demand.

Beyond that, he says the price hikes this year could, in part, be due to the increased amount of travel since COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed.

“You know, certainly we have a seasonal component, you know, during the summer, prices tend to go up. As the summer ends and school starts back, some of those pressures will start to go away. Demand for travel right now is particularly high. People are excited to get out and so that may tend to ease a little bit in the year,” said Dr. Clark.

However, he says the biggest impact on gas prices this summer is due to the war in Ukraine.

“I think the real question is what’s going on in Ukraine, what’s going on there and how that’s going to play out. There’s just a lot of uncertainty associated with that,” said Dr. Clark.

It’s making when, and if, the price of gas will fall a bit of a guessing game. Even with this uncertainty, he says he doesn’t expect the price increase to affect traveling too dramatically.

Still, some travelers, like Jennifer Bernstein, say they’re holding off on major travel plans this summer.

“When you have a family, my paycheck isn’t rising. It’s the cost of living and gas and groceries. So unfortunately I won’t be traveling as much,” said Bernstein.

According to AAA, around this time last year, the average price of gas was $2.90 a gallon in Kentucky. It’s now close to $4.30 a gallon.

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