Gas prices rise just as the busiest travel weekend begins

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Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 8:27 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Once again, gas prices are on the rise. In the last couple of days, they’ve gone up about 40 cents per gallon. While this isn’t the same as prices going up around a dollar last year, it still affects holiday travelers. Especially those traveling during Memorial Day Weekend.

Those traveling during this weekend are in luck, however. The prices probably won’t go up more than two or three cents. That doesn’t mean people aren’t concerned about the prices that were already high.

“Oh they’re absolutely horrific,” said one person who was getting gas in the Mobil in Brokaw. “I didn’t even think about it,” said another person filling up their tank.

Prices tend to go up around this time of year, and people don’t always know how to handle it.

“Panic buying is that if you think the prices are going to go up, let’s fill up today. And even if they don’t need gas they will fill up,” said Raj Bhandari, gas station owner.

When and how many people buy gas is one reason prices are rising.

“Gas prices and oil prices are based on supply and demand. So people getting back on the road after the winter, warmer weather, more people driving, more demand for gasoline which sends prices higher,” said Nicole Petersen, spokesperson for GasBuddy.

Aside from oil prices going up because of supply and demand, they’ve also been affected by economic concerns.

“An agreement over the debt ceiling deal. That situation has since changed. But because of those concerns a few weeks ago oil prices did spike, but they have come back down since,” said Petersen.

All of this affects Memorial Day Weekend.

“Now this memorial day weekend is coming, from tomorrow we are going to start seeing the crazy days with more demand,” said Bhandari.

This holiday weekend might be a bit different than normal because the demand for gas is not quite as high as in other years.

“64% of Americans were planning on taking a road trip this summer. But I think about 40% of them were hesitant to confirm their plans yet because of economic uncertainty,” said Petersen.

“I hope they go down again soon — I hope it doesn’t go any higher,” said people pumping gas.

There are ways to make sure you can save money when filling up your tank. Pay attention to state lines, gas taxes differ per state. You can also check gas prices with an app so you make sure you’re getting the best deal.