Gas Prices On the Rise as Labor Day Nears

If you're traveling Labor Day Weekend, here's what you'll be paying at the pumps.

Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana Tuesday evening and has shut down several oil refineries, sending gas prices up just before Labor Day weekend. But for now, it looks like Americans are still making plans to travel.

The average fuel price in Elkridge Wednesday was $3.791—30 cents per gallon more expensive than prices one month ago.

AAA defines the Labor Day holiday weekend as starting on Thursday and ending Monday, Sept. 3. AAA projects that 33 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.

“In the absence of strong economic growth that might fuel a significant boost in travel volume, it is an encouraging sign that Americans continue to prioritize travel,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president of AAA Travel Services. “Travel is still within America’s discretionary budget.”

An estimated 28.2 million travelers—85 percent—will make their Labor Day trip by car. This is a 3.1 percent increase over the 27.3 million people who traveled by automobile during the Labor Day weekend last year.

In April, motorists experienced a year-to-date peak average gas price of $3.94 per gallon for unleaded gasoline. According to AAA, gas prices are not expected to have a major impact on Labor Day weekend travel unless there is a significant unexpected event such as a hurricane. 

However, as the holiday weekend draws near, increased gas prices may cause some travelers to change their plans. 

Travelers who own a smart phone can download a free mobile app that provides GPS navigation that helps with mapping a route and finding current gas prices nearby.

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