High gas prices in Chicago don't put a damper on summer vacation plans

August 15, 2012

Quinn Ford

(Flickr/Teresia)

Chicago gas prices are among the highest in the country and they’re currently on the rise.

But travel experts say Chicagoans aren’t letting the pain at the pump ruin their end-of-summer vacation plans.

Beth Mosher is a spokeswoman for AAA Chicago, one agency that tracks travel trends. Mosher said gas prices aren’t high enough for families to cancel their vacations altogether. She said that’s typical in the summer months, but Mosher did say the higher prices will affect behavior.

“They’ll still go on their trips, but they might eat in more often or they might skip out on the souvenirs,” Mosher said. “So we see people making up for the higher gas prices in their family budget in other ways.”

Mosher said gas prices have risen around the country, but Illinois and other midwestern states have been hit the hardest.

Gas analysts say a recent pipeline burst in Wisconsin caused an oil supply shortage for people in Illinois. The prolonged drought this summer has also contributed to higher gas prices the past couple weeks. Analysts say the drought has caused corn prices to rise, which in turn is driving up the price of ethanol production.

In Chicago’s metro area, gas costs an average of $4.32 per gallon, up 56 cents from this time last month. That’s according to petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan at gasbuddy.com.