Nationally, gas prices have been on a downward spiral for 18 consecutive days.
The summer vacation season is expected to end the same way it began, with millions of Americans packing the nation’s highways. Memorial Day kicked off the summer with the highest travel volume in ten years; nearly 37 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more and 33 million people driving. Low gas prices during the majority of the summer months played a role in why nearly 36 million people drove to their destinations for the 4th of July.
AAA expects travel to hold steady for the Labor Day weekend. With nearly 35.5 million Americans expected to be traveling over the holiday, AAA travel is predicting the highest travel volume for the weekend since 2008. The majority of travelers, 30.4 million, are expected to be driving to their final destination, while more than 2.6 million will be traveling by air; the highest volume of Labor Day air travel since 2007. Nearly 2.64 million travelers will opt for other modes of transport like train, bus or boat.
Drivers nationwide continue to benefit from the relatively low price of crude oil with today’s national average of $2.44; down almost $1.00 from last year’s price. Barring any major supply disruptions, drivers will pay the lowest national average for the holiday weekend in nearly 11 years. AAA compared gas prices in the East Central territory to prices one year ago today.
PA: $2.48; last year $3.49
OH: $2.29; last year $3.68
NY: $2.62; last year $3.70
WV: $2.45; last year $3.40
KY: $2.32; last year $3.36
“Labor Day presents a last-minute opportunity to enjoy some time with friends and family before the settling into the day-to-day school and work responsibilities that come with the changing season,” according to Jim Lehman, president, AAA East Central. “Auto travel has proven to be the most popular mode of travel, with the majority of Americans driving to Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks this summer,” he adds.
AAA tracked several top destinations for members this summer:
– East Coast Beaches; Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, VA Beach
– Caribbean Cruises
– Alaska Cruises
AAA has the following tips for travelers looking to save even more money on their plans this Labor Day weekend:
Pack light. Not only will you save on luggage fees if flying, you’ll also save on fuel if you’re driving. A loaded car reduces your car’s fuel efficiency.
Travel at off-peak hours or on less busy days to avoid wasting gas in traffic. The busiest travel days this holiday should be Friday, Sept. 4 and Monday, Sept. 7.
If driving, rent a car locally that gets better gas mileage than your own vehicle. AAA members who book their car rental through Hertz save BIG!
Many hotels offer guests free or discounted transportation to and from nearby airports and attractions. You’ll save on fuel, car rental and parking.
Book your hotel reservations through AAA.com or the AAA Mobile App. AAA members often qualify for exclusive discounts and the lowest prices at a wide selection of hotels.
If planning a beach vacation, stay a few blocks away from the beach. You’ll likely pay lower nightly rates, but will still be near the sea and sand.
Before you leave for your trip, purchase your attraction tickets at a discounted rate through AAA.com. There are a variety of theme parks, zoos, museums, shows, sporting events and other activities to choose from.
Many places offer multi-day or multi-attraction tickets. Often these “bundled” admissions are significantly cheaper than buying separate tickets for each day or each park.
Take advantage of “end of the day” specials at amusement parks. You’ll save money and avoid the midday crowds.
Consider on-the-go food instead of sit down dining – it saves time and money.
Pack food and picnic at road areas to save on food costs.
Select hotels that include breakfast in the rate.
Frequent restaurants where kids eat free.
Many hotels offer suite-style rooms with kitchenettes. Making even just one meal a day in your room will save you money.
Reach Jan Snyder at 740-313-0354 or on Twitter @RecordHeraldJan.