SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – With millions of Americans out on the road for the summer, those taking road trips and facing very high gas prices, are leading the way.
The Auto Club of Southern California said earlier this summer it anticipated 86% of Southern Californians would be driving to their destinations. GasBuddy's annual summer travel survey found 57% of Americans were going to take at least one summer trip.
Even though gas prices were going to affect the trip plans for many people on the road, according to the survey, it was not enough to stay home.
Economists had warned if the gas price surge or nervousness over the pandemic kept travelers from staying home, there would be a financial impact in the recovery plans. So far, in a recent NewsChannel report, hotels are showing a solid booking calendar through Labor Day in the Santa Barbara area.
Some Southern California drivers on road trips already are experiencing gas prices above $4.50 a gallon. However, there are areas under $4.00 a gallon based on zone pricing and other factors impacting operation costs.
On July 1, a gas tax increase kicked in as approved by voters in Californians. It was less than a penny, but overall it is now 51.1 cents. Some of that money goes for improved roadways and travel infrastructure.
Ways to improve gas mileage and reduce costs include:
- Having a well maintained vehicle, including properly maintained tires
- Travel at or below the speed limit
- Travel with a light vehicle – Weight is a factor in mileage
- Use apps and other services for price checking and discounts
- Plan your trip to avoid peak periods or areas known for stop and go traffic
To find more about local gas prices in your area, click here.