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Idaho gas prices still sky high heading into Fourth of July weekend

MGN Online

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – As temperatures and gas prices spike across the Gem State, 48 million Americans, including 285,000 Idahoans, are preparing for an Independence Day getaway.

Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular is $5.22, which is three cents more than a week ago and 50 cents more than a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average has been falling for the past two weeks, and currently sits at $4.88 per gallon, which is nine cents less than a week ago but 22 cents more than a month ago.

“Travel has returned to nearly pre-pandemic levels, and surprisingly, travel by car is projected to be the busiest on record for the holiday weekend, despite much higher pump prices than in recent years,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “But whether you’re flying or driving, it’s a safe bet that things could get a little hectic at times.”

Here’s a seven-year look at Idaho gas prices on Independence Day:

YEARU.S.IDAHO
2021$3.13$3.50
2020$2.18$2.35
2019$2.76$2.99
2018$2.87$3.16
2017$2.23$2.56
2016$2.27$2.48
2015$2.76$3.03
COURTESY AAA IDAHO

What to know before you go

Thursday and Friday afternoon are expected to be the busiest times on the road, while Thursday afternoon and Friday morning will likely be the busiest times at the airport. Due to staffing shortages and cancellations, airlines are running fewer flights, which could be very crowded.

AAA advises travelers to pack masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes in their carry-on bag or vehicle, as local jurisdictions may have different health and safety protocols.

Summer travelers are encouraged to consider purchasing travel insurance that specifically protects their vacation and that would cover any additional expenses associated with COVID-19. They should also notify credit card providers of their travel plans in order to reduce the risk of cards being frozen due to perceived unusual activity.

When selecting a hotel, travelers should confirm the cancellation/change policies to avoid any penalties. Check with the hotel regarding housekeeping practices, which have changed significantly during the pandemic, along with the hours and availability of pools, workout facilities, and on-site restaurants. Some breakfasts and buffets have been scaled back to pre-packaged items to reduce the sharing of tongs and other items, though in recent months some hotels have relaxed this policy.

“Ask the hotel about contactless service, including emailed receipts and digital room keys that can be accessed via smart phone,” Conde said. “Hotels have gone to great lengths to ensure that guests feel safe and comfortable.”

Before setting out on a road trip, drivers should make sure their emergency kit is ready to go, complete with first aid, jumper cables, flares or reflectors, a flashlight with extra batteries, snacks and water, a blanket or towel and some basic tools. 

“We’re in the heart of wildfire season, and there’s plenty of combustible fuel along the roadside,” Conde said. “Please avoid driving or parking in tall grass that could catch fire.”

AAA is a proud partner of Look Before You Lock, a safety campaign whose mission is to prevent children and pets from being left in hot cars where they could suffer serious injury or even death. Parents should look for kids and pets before locking or leaving their vehicle – if necessary, leave a purse or wallet in the back seat to reinforce this behavior. Never let children play in or around an unlocked car.

Crude oil market dynamics

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading at $111 per barrel, which is the same as a week ago. Crude supplies remain tight, both domestically and globally.

Here’s a look at gas prices around the Gem State as of Tuesday:

  • Boise – $5.29
  • Coeur d’Alene – $4.98
  • Franklin – $5.17
  • Idaho Falls – $5.15
  • Lewiston – $4.98
  • Pocatello – $5.20 
  • Rexburg – $5.20
  • Twin Falls – $5.31
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