LAKE MILTON, Ohio (WKBN) — AAA has predicted near pre-pandemic levels of travel for Memorial Day weekend — as many as 39 million people are predicted to be traveling.

It finally feels like summer and boaters are out in full force on Lake Milton for the holiday weekend, but they said the price of gas is keeping them close to home.

“For this, I’ll save for up for this — but it’s almost like you have to now, right?” said boater Sean Germanowski.

Boat sales hit record highs during the pandemic and gas was cheap during lockdown — something boaters have gotten used to.

“It used to be maybe $10 to bring the boat out and $10 to run it, now it’s getting to be $20 and $40 to bring and tow. It’s going up fast,” Germanowski said.

Robert Joshua grew up near Lake Milton. He lives in Boardman now but said gas prices affected his decision to stay local this weekend.

“We could go Erie or down to Pittsburgh but we love our faithful old Lake Milton, and Berlin too,” he said. “You know, $5 a gallon, you gotta have a big truck and a big boat, all the big toys and they’re thirsty.”

Still, people flocked to the docks for the unofficial start of summer.

“It was so much fun,” said Sean’s daughter Leah Germanowski.

She said her favorite part was tubing.