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Memorial Travel Likely Light, Gas Prices Still Low
By West Kentucky Star Staff
WESTERN KENTUCKY - Gas prices have increased slightly in the central United States over the last week, but prices are still seasonably low, along with travel expectations for the long weekend. 

According to AAA, most surrounding states had prices jump between five and ten cents per gallon, but in western Kentucky, the price is $1.64, which is the same as last week. Last year's price was $2.61 per gallon. 

Illinois is the only state in the region where the average price has jumped over $2 per gallon. It's currently at $2.13. Missouri's price is the cheapest in the region at $1.54 per gallon. 

Average prices this week are $1.59 in Bowling Green, $1.54 in Owensboro, $1.97 in Louisville, and $1.58 in Paducah. 

Nationally, the average price is $1.87, and the last time the national average was less than $2 per gallon heading into Memorial Day weekend was 2003. 

AAA didn't release a Memorial Day travel forecast this year since much of the data they use has been undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past for what is considered the unofficial start of the summer travel season. 

In a March survey, 90% of the 173 million Americans who had summer vacations on the books planned to take a U.S.-based vacation. AAA travel experts say that’s common during a presidential election year, when many travelers hold off on international travel because they want to see how the election will affect the economy or international relations. This year, the phenomenon is amplified by concerns about the pandemic.

AAA.com/Travel online bookings have been rising, though modestly, since mid-April, suggesting travelers’ confidence is slowly improving. When it is safe to travel, AAA predicts vacationers will have a preference for U.S destinations, mostly local and regional locations, and the great American road trip.

Published 01:09 PM, Tuesday May. 19, 2020
Updated 01:28 PM, Tuesday May. 19, 2020

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