High gas prices will not affect holiday travel

A pump fills up a vehicle at a Shell gas station.

JEREMY HOBSON: Well here in this country we'll be spending about 40 percent more on gas this holiday weekend than we did last year. In fact prices will be the highest on record for Memorial day.

But as Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports that's not likely to keep people home.

JOHN DIMSDALE: AAA predicts an 11 percent jump in Memorial weekend airline flights, even with higher ticket prices this year. And the number of people driving to their vacation destination will be just about the same as 2010.

AAA's President Robert Darbelnet says surveys show Americans are willing to make other sacrifices to afford the extra cost of gas.

ROBERT DARBELNET: What we spend on shopping will be trimmed some 21 percent. What we spend on food and beverage will be reduced by 17 percent and our expenditures that relate to hotels and other accommodations will be down some 14 percent.

Gasoline prices have been falling for the first time this year, in part due to anticipation of a slowing economy. But analysts say if oil demand stays strong this summer, those lower prices will be temporary.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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