Iowans Can Expect Crowded Highways And Airports For The Holiday Weekend

Statewide Iowa — Summer doesn’t officially arrive until June 21st, but for most Iowans, the holiday weekend ahead is the real start of the season.
Meredith Mitts, at AAA Iowa, says the motor club is predicting more than 42-million Americans will be taking trips over the next several days to celebrate Memorial Day.

Gasoline prices are holding steady nationwide, but pump prices have risen in Iowa in recent weeks. The statewide average is now $3.43 a gallon, though that’s low compared to the statewide average a year ago at $4.22. Historically Iowa has had much lower gasoline prices, however. According to AAA, on December 30, 2018, the price at the pump was $2.01 per gallon, and was $2.37 per gallon on December 30, 2019 before the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, on December 30, 2020, the average price at the pump in Iowa was $2.20, according to AAA.

Iowa’s average price for gas is 14-cents lower than the national average. AAA’s Nick Chabarria says whether it’s by car or by plane, Iowans are joining the throng in traveling again, as the figures are approaching pre-pandemic highs.

Chabarria says airfares have jumped 20 to 30-percent over this time last year, but he says you can still find last-minute deals. He says some of the most popular summer destinations are the beaches, the West Coast, Las Vegas, and national parks.

According to AAA, Lyon county has the lowest price at the pump, with an average of $3.22 per gallon, whereas Sioux had the highest reported in the broadcast area, at $3.41 per gallon. O’Brien County is the one out of Iowa’s 99 counties that does not have data available to AAA.