RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Memorial Day weekend is rounding the corner and AAA has predicted close to 40 million people will travel for the holiday. That prediction puts travel near pre-pandemic levels.

Most of those people, about 35 million, will be driving. Fuel costs will play a big part in holiday weekend budgets.

“While the increases may start to slow in the days ahead as pump prices catch up to oil, there isn’t much reason to be optimistic that we’ll see a plunge any time soon,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

As of Monday morning, Gas Buddy calculated the average costs of gas in Raleigh to be $4.25 per gallon. AAA Carolinas calculated the average slightly higher at $4.38 per gallon.

Prices are not expected to get any better we approach the weekend. The cost per gallon may inch closer to the $5 mark, according to De Haan.

“New records continued to be set on a near daily basis as the national average edges even closer to $4.50 per gallon. Prices later this week could be closer to $5 per gallon than $4, as demand continues to edge higher and inventories of both gasoline and diesel continue to decline, temperatures warm and motorists get back outside and we near the Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer driving season,” De Haan said.

Prices around other metro areas in North Carolina are not much better. Prices according to AAA are:

  • Charlotte: $4.37
  • Durham: $4.39
  • Fayetteville: $4.37