The drop in gas prices across the nation compared to recent summers will lead to cheaper flights, longer trips, and more vacationing overall, industry observers say.
In a survey conducted by the travel website TripAdvisor, 86 percent of participants said they were planning on traveling for fun this year, a 7 percent increase from last year.
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Among those surveyed who plan to travel this year, approximately three in four say they will be driving to at least one of their destinations, while 64 percent plan to fly, according to TripAdvisor
In mid-May, the national average for a gallon of gas was $3.59, compared to $3.96 two years prior, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. As a result of the lower gas prices, just 13 percent of Americans surveyed by TripAdvisor say the prices at the pump will impact their travel, compared to 39 percent in 2011.
Though gas prices are lower this year on average compared to years passed, not all Americans are spending less at the pump.
Due to maintenance work at refineries and other unexpected issues that have limited local supplies, consumers in the West and Midwest have seen an increase in gas prices during May
, AAA Spokesman Michael Green told Marketwatch.com.
Green adds that despite the perception that gas prices increase every summer because of demand, the most significant gas price increase is actually mid-spring, due to maintenance at refineries.
After a brief drop over the summer months, gas prices will likely increase again in late summer-early fall during hurricane season, says Green.
To save on gas, Green suggests making sure car tires are properly inflated
and removing unnecessary items from the car since heavier vehicles use more fuel. Green also reccomends storing all luggage inside the car, as opposed to securing suitcases to the roof.
Lower gas prices at the pump also means lower jet fuel costs, resulting in cheaper airfare. Honolulu-bound flights that are down 10 percent from last year, and Denver-bound flights that have seen a 14 percent decrease from 2012, Marketwatch.com noted.
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