Labor Day Travel Increases With Falling Gas Prices
Gas prices have fallen in August, helping lead AAA Carolinas to forecast an 8.1 percent increase in Labor Day travel.
An estimated 70,000 more motorists are expected to vacation more than 50 miles from home this holiday than last year. All estimates on this release are based on numbers prior to forecasts of Hurricane Earl.
Travelers heading to the coast this weekend should pay close attention to forecasts, warnings and evacuations prior to hitting the road.
North Carolina prices average $2.58 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, down 11 cents from the summer peak on Aug. 11 and 16 cents lower than Memorial Day gasoline prices. Retail gasoline prices typically do not drop until after Labor Day.
About 930,000 North Carolinians are expected to travel during the long holiday weekend, despite continued high unemployment and economic uncertainty.
"Travel by Carolinians has been increasing all year and this holds true for the last vacation of the summer," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas.
AAA Carolinas has seen a 26 percent rise in travel business and a 9.5 percent increase in requested personalized TripTik map routings.
Falling gas prices, numerous hotel and travel package deals and the last hurrah for summer vacation are contributing to 92 percent of travelers, or 861,000 people, driving to their Labor Day holiday destination, according to AAA.
Air travel will rise despite higher airfares. AAA forecasts a 3.9 percent increase representing 41,000 North Carolinians flying over the long weekend. AAA's Leisure Travel Index reports the lowest round-trip rates moving up 9 percent from last year to $179 for the top 40 U.S. air routes.
The average gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in North Carolina is $2.58, down 3 cents from a week ago and only 6 cents higher than this time last year. The most expensive gasoline in the state is in Boone at $2.65, and the least expensive is in Fayetteville at $2.54.
The most popular destinations for motorists are Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, S.C., Asheville, Raleigh, Savannah and Washington, D.C., according to AAA Vacations.
"Hotels in these and other destinations continue to offer discounts and specials to ensure rooms are filled," Parsons said.
The Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) cited 1,291 motorists with driving while impaired during its "Booze It & Lose It" campaign over the July 4 holiday. It will be helping local law enforcement perform similar checkpoints around the state during the Labor Day weekend as well.
More like this story