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Poll finds Delaware drivers changing driving habits, but keeping vacation travel plans despite gas prices

Delaware Public Media

Gas prices are still wavering just under $5 per gallon in Delaware, but most Delawareans are unwavering when it comes to their vacation plans.

AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell said that a new poll shows that a majority of Delawareans are factoring gas prices into their travel plans one way or another.

“We have seen near record travel for the July 4th holiday weekend that just passed," Tidwell says. "Road trip travel was supposed to set a record last weekend. So there is no overstating the pent up demand to travel in the wake of COVID.”

While Delawareans are not canceling plans, Tidwell says that around 60% are tweaking them.

“About 40% of Delaware drivers say they are going to take fewer trips this summer because of gas prices. About 15% say they are taking shorter trips, and about 20% of Delaware drivers tell us they are going to adjust their travel spending budget.”

Tidwell notes that those budget adjustments are for lodging and dining to account for extra money spent on gas.

And, whether preparing for a vacation or not, 75% of First State drivers say they have adjusted their daily driving behaviors because of gas prices – up nearly 20% from late last year when the average price of gas was around $3 per gallon.

Around half of those say they are limiting their driving any way they can, like consolidating or running fewer errands.

Commuters are also pushing to work from home more often. About half of all Delawareans say they commute, and of that 50%, around 15% of them are ride-sharing or carpooling to work too.

Tidwell says these behaviors are expected to linger as long as gas stays above $4 per gallon, possibly longer.

AAA recommends shopping around for gas, since prices can vary dramatically from county to county, or even corner to corner.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.