Maritime gas prices ride high as road trip season shifts into new gear

Gas prices at over two dollars a litre may be too much for some drivers to ignore this summer.

A pair of surveys suggest Canadians will compare any road trip ideas with rising fuel costs, and curb some travel plans as a result.

"That two dollar a litre mark really is the price where people start to think differently about their road trips," says Kaitlynn Furse of the Canadian Automobile Association.

While some Maritime drivers are leveling their travel expectations on this first official weekend of summer, others expect to keep their foot on the pedal.

However, it may be a different pedal.

Pierrettee and Roger Doiron of Saint John are planning a trip to Prince Edward Island next week, but are gauging how to keep the transportation costs on budget

"It’s a lot of money, two dollars a litre," says Pierrettee. "So we have to think about the cheapest way to go."

That may include switching their regular wheels to a couple of tour bikes.

"It gets much better fuel mileage than say a car or something," says Roger. "The problem with that is if the weather is bad we’ll have to go spend more money on a car."

No matter the vehicle driven, it will be difficult for drivers to detour paying more.

For example, a road trip from Moncton to Montreal this summer, depending on the size of vehicle, may have drivers spending about $300 more compared to previous years.

Travel restrictions at the height of the pandemic familiarized people with "staycation" attractions nearby. For some, that appears to be a good option for limiting fuel consumption this summer too.

"I plan on staying in the province," says Vonda Johnson. "I won’t be travelling outside the province. New Brunswick is a beautiful place. When we were in lockdown I saw places I didn’t even know existed in my own home province."

Tips from CAA to avoid undue fuel costs include turning off the ignition for any wait longer than a stoplight, using cruise control when possible, and remembering the fuel economy for many vehicles peak at speeds of between 80-90 km/h.