Her snow boots were drying in the hallway when Lauren Haney planned her Memorial Day getaway.
She had just finished shoveling her car out of the driveway after nearly 20 inches of snow fell in York County. And on that February day she promised herself she would buck tradition.
The 38-year-old Shrewsbury resident typically travels to Ocean City, Md., on July 3 every year. The family vacation with her sisters and their families is something the mother of two looks forward to, but she couldn't wait that long.
"After the winter we had, I just wanted to go. Planning the Memorial Day trip and looking forward to it is what got me through winter," Haney said.
She and her sisters will leave Thursday and drive about 180 miles to the beach. Gas for the three-hour trip will cost "more than it ever has," she said.
Gas prices are always higher in the summer, and they always go up around the Fourth of July.
But Haney doesn't remember paying $3.76 a gallon — the average price of gas in York on Tuesday.
Round-trip, the drive will cost about $65 — the highest amount on record for Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA and an analysis by The York Dispatch.
Still traveling: Gas prices are 35 cents more than they were a year ago, but that's not deterring local travelers.
"It's still a small slice of the travel costs when you factor in lodging and food," Haney said.
Wade Meyer estimates it will cost about $250 round-trip for gasoline when he travels to the Finger Lakes in New York this weekend.
"But I'm splitting the cost with my buddies three ways so that helps," the 34-year-old West Manchester Township resident said.
Meyer said he and his friends have gone to the Finger Lakes for the last four years.
"It costs more and more each year, and gas is even higher in New York," he said.
On Tuesday, the average gas price in New York was $3.86 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
The cost of gas is conveniently offset by the fact Meyer and his friends don't have to pay for a place to stay.
"My friend's family has a cabin there, so it ends up being really cheap for us to go," he said.
Getting away: Erin McDonough said gas will probably be the cheapest part of her trip this weekend.
The 27-year-old York Township resident is leaving Friday for a bachelorette party in Atlantic City, N.J.
McDonough will probably spend about $60 on gas round-trip, according to AAA's fuel cost calculator.
"That's nothing compared to what I'm spending on a room, gambling, a new outfit, stuff I need to take there, gifts for the bride. I don't care how much it costs. I just want to get away for a few days," she said.
Joe Christian expects to spend no more than $20 to drive his family to Hershey Conewago Campground in Elizabethtown this weekend.
"It's cheap and close to home. My kind of trip," he said.
Plenty of company: Regardless of what travelers are spending, more motorists will be on the road this weekend.
AAA is predicting 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during Memorial Day weekend, a 1.5 percent increase from the 35.5 million who traveled last year.
More than 80 percent of those travelers will be driving, the agency said.
"The winter blues appear to have given Americans the travel bug and a case of cruise cabin fever as travel for the holiday is expected to hit a post-recession high," said Marshall Doney, chief operating officer for AAA.
Not only will those travelers see higher gas prices, they'll pay more 2 percent more for hotels and 1 percent more for car rentals, according to AAA.
"As the economy continues to improve at a slow and steady pace, consumer spending, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending up, which is welcome news for the travel industry," Doney said.
— Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.