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Memorial Day Travel: Despite record-breaking gas prices, thousands of Tennesseans plan trips

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Posted at 9:55 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 12:47:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Despite record-breaking gas prices, this holiday weekend is expected to be the busiest for travel since 2019.

"Here in Tennessee, we're expecting a little total for Memorial Day. Of those, about 80% — or a little over 698,000 — Tennesseans we're expecting to take a road trip," said AAA Tennessee spokesperson Megan Cooper.

Coming out of the pandemic, many are eager to travel. In fact, according to AAA, there is a lot of pent-up demand.

"Tennesseans are the most comfortable ever that they've been with traveling since the pandemic, so the interest is there for traveling. People have been cooped up for quite some time," said Cooper.

Right now, the average price of a gallon of gas in Tennessee is $4.27. It's a record-breaking cost that isn't going unnoticed.

"I know a lot of people at school are really worried about: are they able to actually afford to go home? Either for this holiday, or for the 4th of July or at any point this summer," said traveler Elizabeth Hennen.

"A lot of people are traveling, so I mean it's really hitting the pockets, you know?" said driver Jamaeris Kirkwood.

Even for people flying, budgeting in advance has been important.

"We considered driving, but luckily we bought our tickets early enough that we avoided all of the price increases all of the late-buyers are experiencing," said traveler David Tatum.

With many people overdue for a vacation, experts said you can expect popular destinations to be packed.