As you budget for your summer vacation, you will want to set aside a bit more money for gasoline. Prices at the pump rose about 18 cents this month, and the national average is the highest it's been since the summer of 2015, according to AAA.
“Pump prices are causing sticker shock across the country,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a news release this week. “Gas is selling at $2.26 or more at every gas station in America. More so, 13 percent of stations have pump prices set at $3 or more.”
The pain at the pump is the worst on the West Coast, where drivers are paying more than $3 a gallon. Today’s average in California is $3.60, up 60 cents from a year ago. Prices in Texas are among the lowest, with an average of $2.59, while Florida's average is in the middle range, at $2.74.
While a lot of factors go into gas prices (supply, demand, crude oil prices and overseas concerns), AAA doesn’t predict that the national average will reach the $3 mark. Even so, today’s price is still far more than what we were paying this time last year. Then, a gallon of gas was just $2.40, or 40 cents less than today’s average of $2.80. But it’s far cheaper than we were paying in 2008, when gas was over $4 a gallon.
Even with the higher gas prices, families are expected to travel. AAA predicts about two-thirds of the 88 million families taking a vacation this summer will drive to their destination.