As summer comes to a close, many travelers are ready to squeeze in a last minute vacation before the cooler temperatures settle in. Motorists heading out on a road trip to mark the unofficial end of the summer travel season will see gas prices that, albeit more expensive than last year, have leveled off and been moving slightly downward over the past few weeks.
“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,” says Herman Jenkins, director of public affairs at AAA East Central. “Auto travel has proven to be the most popular mode of travel this year, even with gas prices higher than they were at this point last year.”
While the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is at a four-year high, prices have been steadily moving lower over the past few weeks. Today’s national average ($2.84) is two cents less than one month ago, and 13 cents lower than when gasoline peaked this year in May ($2.97). As demand tapers off and winter-blend gasoline begins to make its way to the pump, motorists can expect to see prices continue to trend downward – barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Today’s State Average Gas Prices:
- PA: $3.04; last year $2.62
- OH: $2.76; last year $2.36
- NY: $2.99; last year $2.54
- WV: $2.83; last year $2.47
- KY: $2.68; last year $2.42
Travel Advice from AAA East Central
For anyone hitting the road for the long weekend, AAA East Central offers the following tips for travelers looking to save even more money on their plans this Labor Day weekend:
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
- Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
- Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
- 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.
- Rent a car that gets better gas mileage than your own vehicle. AAA members are offered a discount when they book their car rental through Hertz.
- Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated. Ditching distractions behind the wheel is as important as making sure you’re not driving under the influence of alcohol. Make sure you plan ahead so that you’re not tempted to do either.