CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Ready to pack up the car and hit the road for the Labor Day holiday? Well, you won’t be alone. In fact, AAA predicts this could be one of the busiest travel holidays since before the 2008 recession.
“We’re forecasting over 34 million people are going to be traveling a distance of 50 miles or more from their home address. That’s great news! We’re actually calling this the highest since the recession-driven decline,” said Christina Rollyson with AAA in Charleston.
Why the sudden uptick? Rollyson said it has to do with consumer confidence. The economy is on more stable footing, people have extra cash to spend and gas prices are down.
AAA expects travelers to spend more money this holiday compared to 2012.
“Last year [the median expenditure] was $749 per family and what we’re projecting this year is $804,” according to Rollyson.
That means more stops at the convenience store, eating out a couple extra meals and spending more on souvenirs.
As for gas prices, they’re down 25 cents here in West Virginia from 2012. The average price is $3.56 a gallon. But how much will it cost you if you’re heading out of state. According to AAA the prices are as follows: $3.58 in Kentucky, $3.55 in Maryland, $3.56 in Ohio, $3.60 in Pennsylvania and $3.36 in Virginia.
Rollyson said the heaviest traffic days for the holiday will be Friday and Monday. She urged everyone to check the fluids in their cars and their tire pressure before they set out on a Labor Day adventure.