MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota drivers will pay about a dime a gallon more to fill their talks as Memorial Day nears, but they're not likely to drive any less.
"What we've seen in the past few years is that gas prices -- high or low -- have not affected whether someone takes a vacation," said Dawn Duffy, spokeswoman for AAA in Minneapolis. "Gas is the smallest portion of a vacation budget, when you look at hotels, lodging and food."
The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in the state is currently about $1.52. That is 2 cents higher than the national average, and about 10 cents higher than mid-May of last year, Duffy said.
"We're actually doing pretty good," she said. "We are higher than we were last year by about 10 cents, but as we near the busy summer drive time ... $1.50 is actually a pretty good starting point right now."
She said it was particularly good when one considers that two years ago, in May 2001, gas cost about 20 cents more per gallon than it does now.
The independent Web site www.twincitiesgasprices.com on Wednesday showed that in the Twin Cities, prices ranged from $1.35 per gallon at a Fuel Mart in St. Anthony to $1.69 at a Conoco in Minneapolis. The related site www.minnesotagasprices.com listed prices ranging from $1.39 at several stations outside the Twin Cities -- such as Farmington, Chisago City and Lindstrom -- to $1.59 at stations in Cannon Falls and Sandstone.
Duffy said the major events of the past couple of years -- terrorism, war, the downturn in the economy -- have left many people with a different attitude about vacationing.
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