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More Idahoans planning Memorial Day travel



More Idahoans planning Memorial Day travel

SANDPOINT — Memorial Day travel is back in a big way.

According to AAA, 43.8 million Americans, including nearly 262,000 Idahoans, will journey 50 miles or more from home to celebrate the holiday weekend — 1.8 million more than a year ago, and 1 million more than in 2019.

“In recent years, travel has recovered in phases, and now we anticipate the second highest travel volume for Memorial Day weekend, just below 2005 numbers,” said AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “Travel and discretionary spending are still increasing despite lingering concerns about the economy.”

The National Parks Service reported 325.5 million visits to parks, monuments and other sites last year. The most-visited parks were the Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Zion, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Acadia, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree and Olympic national parks.

This year will set a new record for travel by car, with 38.4 million Americans expected to load up in the family vehicle and head out on the holiday road. 

More than 3.5 million people will fly, nearly a 5% jump year over year. And other modes of travel, including cruises, trains, and buses, will fully recover to pre-pandemic levels with a 5.6% increase to 1.9 million people.

Today, the average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.85, which is 3 cents less than a week ago and a penny less than a month ago, but 10 cents more than a year ago. The national average sits at $3.62 per gallon, which is also 3 cents cheaper than a week ago and a penny less than a month ago, but 8 cents more than a year ago.

Coeur d’Alene prices range from a low of about $3.69 a gallon to highs in the $3.80s. In Bonner County, prices average $3.88 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline; and, in Boundary County, the average price is $3.85.

Idaho ranks ninth in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($5.29), Hawaii ($4.80), Washington ($4.64), Nevada ($4.44), Oregon ($4.42), Alaska ($4.39), Arizona ($3.95) and Illinois ($3.92).

“Modest fuel demand, elevated gasoline supplies and crude oil currently under $80 per barrel have kept pump prices in check for the past few weeks,” Conde said. “But the unofficial start of road trip season is just around the corner, and drivers understand that filling up is part of the equation.”

Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $79 per barrel, which is 50 cents more than a week ago, $6 less than a month ago, and $8 more than a year ago.

Here’s a look at Idaho pump prices as of Monday: Boise, $3.90; Franklin, $3.75; Idaho Falls, $3.74; Lewiston, $3.74; Pocatello, $3.88; Rexburg, $3.85; Twin Falls, $3.86.

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