Memorial Day gas prices to hit 7-year high as Michigan readies for busy travel weekend

AAA expects there to be a surge in Memorial Day travel this weekend as people continue emerging from their homes for vacation and trips abroad after a long year inside. The return of tourism is good. 

So is public confidence in their safety after getting vaccinated. But there's a catch and not one that should come as a surprise - high gas prices.

According to the travel agency, travelers will pay the highest gas prices in seven years this weekend. 

About 37 million Americans are expected to travel, mostly by car and plane for the weekend - which represents a 60% increase from last year. It's a "strong indication that summer travel is going to be largely popular," said a spokesperson. "With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead."

It won't take a pipeline shutdown to raise prices either. Demand will be up because more people will be traveling. Gas is about $1.12 more expensive than last year and up 17 cents from last month on average. 

According to AAA, the average cost of gas will be the highest since 2014. 

RELATED: Things to do this Memorial Day Weekend in Metro Detroit

In Michigan, similar expectations can be made for the holiday weekend. About a million people are expected to travel for Memorial Day, according to the American Automobile Association - close to the 2019 rate of visitors. 

gas prices are rising ever so slightly ahead of the weekend in the state's largest metro areas. According to GasBuddy, an average gallon of gas currently costs:

  • Detroit - $3.067
  • Lansing - $3.057
  • Ann Arbor - $3.064
  • Grand Rapids - $3.048
  • Flint - $3.070
  • Kalamazoo - $3.062