A lot of folks are hitting the roads this week, looking to get away with the family during school winter vacation. However, soaring gas prices could seriously impact summer travel. Our Solomon Syed has more on what's behind the pinch at the pump and what you can expect for the rest of the year.
NEW YORK STATE -- You can find a deal pretty much anywhere this President's Day weekend, except at the pump.
According to AAA, gas prices across the U.S. hit $3.55 for a gallon of regular. The numbers here in New York are even bigger, at $3.87, which may put the breaks on travel plans.
"Long drives, long distance drives, like we like to go Virginia," said one motorist who's already reconsidering his summer plans. "That's a very expensive trip!"
Paying more at the pump is nothing new, but what's different this year is how prices have started filling up well before the busy summer vacation season. The average gallon has shot up 5% in just the last week. Financial experts say conflict and consumption around the world is the driving force.
"Iran is threatening to cut off oil to Great Britain and France, and China is using more oil than ever before," said Steven Bouchey of Bouchey Financial.
Trouble abroad could have wallets here in New York running on empty.
"I'll probably bring my car back to my parents since I am at college, and my parents are probably just going to keep it there and not pay for anymore gas," said one college-age motorist.
"It's outrageous, but it is what it is, you just have to work harder and hopefully it'll fluctuate like it does yearly," said another driver.
Buckle up: we could be in for a wild ride by Memorial Day.
"Now all of a sudden we're approaching four, and moving on up to $5 a gallon," said Bouchey. "That will really change people's habits of how they drive."
Experts say the economy as a whole could suffer if folks start driving less, especially when it comes to industries that depend on travel, tourism and retail.