Gas prices may dictate Summer vacation plans

The national average is at $3.68 a gallon

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With gas prices continuing to increase, will people think twice about their vacation plans?

Watching the numbers go up at the pump can be a painful experience, and experts say expect it to get more painful before it gets better.

Conflict in Iraq and oil refinery problems have put the national average at $3.68 a gallon. It’s encouragement enough for some to favor public transportation.

“I just go on day trips. Usually by bus. It’s probably the cheapest way to go right now,” said Mary Fontaine of Northampton.

Michaela Schwartz of South Hadley told 22News she will take a stay-cation. “Absolutely its going to impact my plans. If I’m going anywhere its going to be close by. As it is, with gas prices going up, I’m trying to find ways to drive less and less,” said Schwartz.

Mindy Ginley of AAA-Pioneer Valley told 22News if gas prices don’t affect the distance people will travel, it may affect how much people spend. “They will look for discounts. Some hotels are offering gas cards with a two night stay.There are discounts out there. Either people eat in or spend less money on food and other incidentals.”

In addition to free maps and guides that can help you plan your vacation, AAA also offers a free mobile app that can help you save money by telling you where the lowest priced gas in your area is.

The good news is that gas isn’t expected to hit $4 a gallon.

Gas prices usually go up in the Summer months, but prices this year are much higher than June of last year, when the average price here in the Springfield area was $3.49 cents a gallon.

For the latest gas prices in western Mass., take a look at the 22News Pump Price.

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