Planning a summer road trip? You'll want to read this.
The average price of gas in the United States rose to more than $5 per gallon over the weekend — an all-time high — and even topped more than $6 in California.
As of Monday, the average price of a gallon of gas was $5.014 nationally, according to AAA. The high cost was widespread, with 21 states and Washington, D.C. all seeing more than $5 per gallon at the pump.
The prices were an uptick from last week, when gas averaged $4.865 per gallon, and a significant increase from a year ago, when the average price of a gallon was $3.078. The price represents an "all-time high" since AAA started collecting pricing data in 2000, according to the company.
“Based on the demand we’re seeing, it seems high prices have not really deterred drivers,” Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “If prices stay at or above $5, we may see people start to change their daily driving habits or lifestyle, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
West Virginia saw the largest weekly increase of 28 cents, followed by Montana, where gas increased 27 cents; Colorado, where gas rose 25 cents; and Kansas, where gas went up 23 cents. California took the top spot for most expensive gas in the country, with an average of $6.43 per gallon, followed by Nevada with $5.65 per gallon, and Alaska and Illinois, where gas costs $5.56 per gallon.
The high price comes as the cost of a barrel of oil tops more than $120, which is nearly double what it cost last August. It also comes as summer travel ramps up, with the July 4 holiday weekend expected to draw droves of travelers.
Gas prices are affecting everything from road trips to airfare, but it is possible to save money by being flexible when booking flights, broadening flight searches to include nearby airports, and making sure a car is in tip-top shape before hitting the road. Travelers can also look for alternative means of transportation like train travel and electric cars, which happen to be great for road trips.