Texans Hit the Roads

More people are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend than last year. Gas prices are a bit higher now than in recent months, but there's also more optimism about taking a vacation. Laurie Johnson reports.

Over the course of the past month, gas prices have gone up about .25 cents per gallon. Even so, drivers are paying about $1.40 less than at this time last year. And AAA Texas Spokesperson Sarah Schimmer says people seem ready to hit the roads.

"While the economy remains in a recession, nationally Americans are traveling on this vacation holiday and AAA anticipates that will increase 1.5% from 2008 with approximately 32.4 million travelers nationwide this weekend. And that's an increase over last year."

Right now gas prices in Houston average $2.22 a gallon. That's .14 cents cheaper than the national average. Schimmer says two and a quarter million Texans will travel this weekend, and the vast majority of them will drive.

"The people are ready to travel, there's pent up demand. They're ready to get on the roads and sometimes when people put off a vacation or don't travel for a year, they tend to want to travel more the next year and spend a little bit more since they haven't taken that trip."

Texans account for about seven percent of travelers total in the country. And if you are hitting the roads, remember gas prices traditionally go higher as the summer progresses.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...