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Experts anticipate spike in summer travel despite rising inflation

Experts are saying that even though more Arkansans are traveling, inflation won't be dipping anytime soon.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Most of us are having to move some numbers around in our budget as inflation continues to rise. 

Right now, nearly every American is paying more than $4 a gallon to fill up their tank and experts don't see that price going down any time soon. 

We've felt it in our wallets, but let's actually look at the numbers. 

Last year at this time Arkansans were paying less than $3 for a gallon of gas. Now, that number is over $4.

Even though that number continues to creep up, Arkansas families are ready to get out this summer after years of pushing those vacations back.

That includes Amanda Reising's family. 

"We decided just to hold off and wait, and so this will be the first vacation we've had since before COVID," she said.

It's been over three years since the Reising family took some time for themselves. 

"We own a company and we were deemed essential, so we were staying extremely busy the entire time during COVID," she said.

Now that they're ready to finally spend a week relaxing, Amanda said high prices are making it difficult. 

"Last month, our fuel bill was $2,500," she said.

According to Amanda, that bill is so high because their business requires a lot of traveling.

"We have to fill up with the most expensive gasoline right now but yeah, it's been a real hard hit on us," she said.

Just last month they were close to canceling their long-awaited vacation, but Amanda said they've budgeted to make it happen.

"We've had to readjust pretty much everything in our lives," she said.

The Reising's aren't the only family ready to hit the road this summer, according to AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria.

"Despite higher inflation and higher gas prices, we know that folks are ready to travel again, and they're going to be getting out there," he said.

Chabarria is predicting an 8% increase from last year for summer travel, which puts us close to pre-pandemic levels.

"It's really not surprising. We know that folks want to travel, they want to get out again, many folks had to cancel or amend their trips over the last couple of years," he said.

For the Reising's, even though it took some navigating, Amanda said they're embracing the opportunity to be together. 

"You just only have so much time with your family and spending time with your kids, so we were like, 'let's go do it,'" she said.

It's not only families feeling the impact of high gas prices, even big corporations are. 

Wal-Mart's profit dropped 24% for the first quarter, while it included many factors, one of those was fuel prices. 

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