‘Fill up early in the week’


Bay Staters taking a road trip for Memorial Day weekend should think about filling up their tanks early in the week, as high gas prices nearing $5 a gallon are expected to jump even more ahead of the busy travel weekend.

Gas prices in Massachusetts continue to stay at a record high of $4.73 per gallon, which is up 13 cents from last week. Gas is $1.19 more than it was the week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent shockwaves through the oil market.

Massachusetts’ average gas price is now 14 cents higher than the national average, and Suffolk County’s average price has soared to $4.86. Gas is a whopping $5.87 on Martha’s Vineyard and $5.68 on Nantucket.

“It’s a tough time for a lot of people,” AAA Northeast’s Mary Maguire said Monday. “And the concern right now is the price of oil remains high, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, and Memorial Day weekend with increased demand for gasoline as people hit the road is right around the corner.

“We’re looking at busy Memorial Day weekend travel forecasts, and I think it’s likely prices will increase as demand grows for Memorial Day travel,” she added. “So I’d recommend that people fill up early in the week.”

AAA predicts that more than 39 million people will travel 50-plus miles this Memorial Day weekend. That’s an increase of 8.3% over 2021, bringing travel volumes almost in line with those in 2017.

Travelers from Massachusetts will make up close to 950,000 of the 39-plus million, with more than 860,000 going by car.

“A lot of people filling up their tanks and visiting gas stations this week will put upward pressure on the market,” Maguire said.

“Don’t wait to fill up until you get to a busy stretch of highway like the Mass Pike, or when you make it to Cape Cod or the Berkshires where prices are traditionally higher,” she added. “Fill up close to home and early in the week.”

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