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Holiday weekend travelers react to gas prices

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - High gas prices aren’t stopping people from taking a trip this Memorial Day weekend.

According to AAA, nearly 40 million Americans will travel during the holiday weekend, most by car.

This is despite gas averaging $1.50 more per gallon across the nation compared to Memorial Day weekend 2021 according to GasBuddy.

“It’s demoralizing,” said Eric Weathers.

He was traveling from Minneapolis to the east coast.

He said the worst part about filling up for $4.17 per gallon in Eau Claire is it will likely be cheaper than what he’ll pay the rest of his trip.

“It’s tough knowing that this is probably gonna be, like, the cheapest gas that I get along the way, and filling up every 300 miles or so, something like that. I mean, it’s it’s going to add up,” Weathers said.

He’s not the only one feeling the pinch.

John Gonzalez stopped in Eau Claire on his way from Douglas, Ga. to St. Cloud, Minn.

His trailer-hauling business forces him to spend a lot of time on the road. Higher gas prices are making those days away from home even harder.

“The past year they’ve just been steadily going up, and it was easier to make a living about a year or two ago than it is now,” Gonzalez said.

He said he used to pay $50-60 to fill up his tank. Now he’s paying nearly double.

“That’s just regular unleaded, 87,” he said. “So it makes a big difference.”

John Roth is traveling with his mother, Dot, to Chicago to see family for the holiday weekend.

“We need to just grin and bear it,” John Roth said.

They said the trip’s been on the books for a while so they’re accepting getting there is going to cost a little more.

“It was anticipated,” Dot Roth said.

Though expected, Weathers said he questions how long he can afford to pay this much.

“This is obviously not sustainable, in my opinion,” he said. “And we have to do something else that’s not just rely on gas. It’s going to keep going up and up and up in price.”

For now, however, it’s the reality for drivers.

“Well it’s kind of like anything,” Dot Roth said. “You go to the grocery store, you’re in shock. Wherever you go you’re in shock at the prices. So, this is the way it is. You kind of have to live with it.”

GasBuddy said there are ways to try and save money on gas. It includes shopping around for the best price or signing up for a gas station loyalty program. Drivers can also save by having the proper air in their tires and using less air conditioning.

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