Higher gas prices won’t stop most travelers over Memorial Day weekend

Higher gas prices won’t stop most travelers over Memorial Day weekend
Lake McConaughy (World-Herald News Service)

A quick look at what you need to know for Memorial Day 2018:

Average gas prices

Nebraska: $2.85; $2.31 a year ago

Iowa: $2.84; $2.28 a year ago

National: $2.96; $2.36 a year ago

Staycations

In GasBuddy.com’s 2018 summer travel survey, just 58 percent of respondents said they would take a road trip sometime this summer, a 24 percent decrease from last year. Also, 39 percent blamed high gas prices for affecting their summer travel decisions, compared with 19 percent in 2017.

It’s still a go

Despite the higher gas prices, AAA said 41.5 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend. That number is an almost 5 percent increase over last year.

Click It or Ticket

Numerous law enforcement agencies in Nebraska and Iowa will be participating in the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign, aimed at seat belt enforcement, through June.

Extra officers will be on patrol this weekend enforcing traffic safety laws, with an emphasis on seat-belt and child-restraint violations.

State parks

Nebraska: A vehicle permit is required — $31 for the year or $6 per day. Cabin and camping reservations may be made at outdoornebraska.gov or by calling 402-471-1414.

Iowa: Park permits are not required. To reserve a spot, visit iowadnr.gov or call 1-877-427-2757.

By the numbers

AAA said 36.6 million travelers will go by car this weekend, a 4.7 percent hike over 2017; 3.1 million will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase; and 1.8 million will travel by train, bus or cruise ship, a 2.8 percent increase.

Travel costs

Airfares are up 7 percent over Memorial Day weekend 2017, hotel rates are down 7 percent to 14 percent, and car rental rates have dropped 11 percent, AAA said.

Tow to Go

AAA’s Tow to Go program will be operating this weekend. For a free tow and ride home for AAA members and nonmembers who are impaired, call 855-286-9246.

Weather

Omaha-area forecast through Monday: Mainly sunny and dry with high temperatures in the upper 80s to near 90.

Traveling elsewhere?

Find weekend forecasts from around the region with NCN’s Accuweather Forecast.

Radio

Country music star Jake Owen hosts B103’s Annual Summer Kickoff all weekend on 103.1 FM and b103.fm in Nebraska City. Plenty of beachin’ music and we’ll catch up with your favorite country music artists.

Permit required for tractors at Lake McConaughy SRA

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has introduced a mandatory permitting process for tractors operating on the beaches of Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area (SRA).

In response to public demand, Game and Parks has created a simple, required permitting process that follows state park regulations and allows for more towing operations on McConaughy’s beaches. There is currently no fee for the permit and an application can be picked up at the Lake McConaughy Visitor/Water Interpretive Center or can be requested via email at colby.johnson@nebraska.gov.

Liability insurance is required for any permit issuance and a permit is required for all farm tractors operated at the SRA. Contact Colby Johnson at 308-284-8804 or colby.johnson@nebraska.gov for more information.

During public meetings held in the Ogallala area during the creation of the 2016 Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan, Game and Parks received several comments indicating the desire to have more tractors operating on the beaches to provide services to an increasing number of park visitors.

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