Labor Day is almost here and it’s going to be a particularly busy one for travel.
I take vacation with joy and pride. That makes me very un-American because most people leave an average of 9 days of vacation time on the table.
Fortunately, there’s a new prediction from AAA that this Labor Day weekend will see the most people on the road and in the air since before the Great Recession. In fact, it’s possible we may have an unofficial record this holiday weekend.
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Low gas prices boost the holiday rush
Only 7% of travel this weekend will be done by plane. The lion’s share will be ground travel. And on that front, there’s great news at the gas pump in much of the country. Some states with historically low gas prices now are down to around $1.75/gallon!
If you’re part of diesel crowd, you’re seeing the price gap close. Diesel has come way down in price and may be cheaper or around the cost of a gallon of regular gas. That’s thanks to large oversupply of oil.
Two of the cheapest states for gas are South Carolina and Mississippi. Prices for a gallon routinely start with a 1 in those states. California, however, is not enjoying low gas prices. In fact, their average gallon is higher than Hawaii by about a quarter! And that’s saying something since every last drop of gas has to be brought into Hawaii because of its location.
So clearly California has its own issues. But otherwise, the price of gas across the South, parts of the West and in the Midwest is poised to drop even further. In September, those regions should routinely see prices starting with a 1.
Of course, the low gas prices mean more people on the road. So unlike the last many years, you might want to lock down hotel reservations along your route because of all the people on the road…even if it makes your drive less efficient. I’d recommend booking rather than just winging it.
However, if you do want to wing it, use the Hotel Tonight app so you can see what hotels have rooms right then and there when you’re ready to stop driving for the night. This has traditionally yielded savings of about 35%.
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