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AAA: Spring break travel may reflect pent-up pandemic demand, rising gas prices

Gearing into spring break mode and rolling into travel season, AAA Wisconsin predicts to see a lot of people on the road.
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 9:37 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Gearing into spring break mode and rolling into travel season, AAA Wisconsin predicts to see a lot of people on the road, especially as coronavirus cases trend downward and local health rules ease.

But the demand for travel may also level out, in part due to record-setting gas prices.

“We would otherwise expect this to be a very robust travel season,” Nick Jarmusz, AAA Wisconsin spokesperson, said. “But certainly gas prices and just other economic uncertainties may temper against that and lead it to be not quite as big as it might otherwise have been.”

U.S, gas prices saw record highs this week. On Wednesday, according to AAA, the national average hit $4.25.

“This is a problem. The rise of the gas,” Maria Cebrian, a teacher from Rockford, Ill., said. She plans to drive around the Midwest for her spring break.

UW-Madison students are also approaching their spring break, which officially kicks off Saturday.

“I will not be doing any driving, so I’ll be okay,” Makana Kirkey, a UW graduate student, said.

Even Provancher, who’s packing his bags for Florida, said, “Obviously everyone’s been cooped up for a while so being able to get out there and actually enjoy traveling, it’s great to be back.”

Jarmusz pointed to a recent AAA survey and said 65 percent of people feel “comfortable” traveling. It’s up from results around this time last year.

He said, “There’s just a lot of optimism heading into this year and certainly a lot of pent-up desire to get out there and travel.”

For anyone concerned about prices all around going up, Jarmusz advised travelers to lock in trips now. He said to look for all-inclusive resorts or other ways to make reservations before any potential rises.

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