Declines in gasoline prices over the past few weeks ended over the weekend, thanks to the violence in Iraq, the second largest crude producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.
AAA is predicting the busiest Memorial Day travel weekend since the end of the Great Recession.
Just over 36 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home between Thursday and next Monday. Mark Jenkins with the auto club’s Tampa office says that’s up one and a half percent from a year ago.
“We had a very harsh winter season, and a lot of people weren’t able to travel much,” said Jenkins. “This the first opportunity for many people to get out there and take that trip.”
Memorial Day, the so-called “unofficial start of summer,” is eight weeks away and counting. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks at the first of a series of AAA's suggestions on how to save money on that vacation. This installment deals with lodging.
Jessica Brady at AAA South in Tampa says the one rule of thumb the auto club wants everyone to remember is that historically, the closer Memorial Day looms, booking a hotel will become harder and more expensive.
Gas prices in Florida average $3.63 per gallon -- seven cents more than a week ago. That makes the Sunshine State the most expensive at the pump in the Southeast.
All of the usual suspects in early spring -- refinery maintenance, increasing demand and the switch to summer-blend fuel -- remain factors. But Mark Jenkins at AAA South in Tampa says other influences are making their presence known.