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Americans To Drive More, Fly Less This Labor Day Weekend


2011 Chrysler Town & Country

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

The last gasp of summer is quickly approaching and families across America are making plans to do something to celebrate Labor Day weekend.

According to a forecast from AAA, that means some 31.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. That's a drop of 2.4 percent from the 32.3 million people who traveled last year.

The big difference is that most of that 31.5 million will be on the roads instead of flying. The AAA projects that 27.3 million Americans will be on the road this year from Thursday, September 1 to Monday, September 5, compared to 27.1 million who did road trips over the 2010 Labor Day Weekend, a decrease of 0.5 percent. Only 2.5 million people will be flying, down 1.9 percent from 2010.

Families who anticipate getting out on the roads and highways will be watching the price of gasoline, and this may change destination plans. If gasoline prices remain stable or fall, they may go farther from home than they’d originally intended, but if gasoline spikes, this will most certainly cut into the round-trip mileage.

Tips to Maximize Fuel Savings

If your family’s Labor Day holiday travel plans call for a road trip, you can do some advance preparation to help ensure you keep costs down for at least one necessity: gasoline.

First, keep an eye on gasoline prices. Then, map out your trip accordingly. To help in this regard, AAA members can download free AAA eTourBook guides at AAA.com/ebooks and sync them to smartphones or ereader devices for use on the go.

For refueling en route, there’s also the free, GPS-based AAA Mobile TripTik Mobile application you can download to your iPhone or Android device to compare gasoline prices for all grades of fuel at nearby stations.

Not a member of the AAA? Not to worry, you can check out and compare gasoline prices using other free apps such as Gas Buddy.

Above all, if you’ll travel on the road this Labor Day Weekend with the family, make sure that everyone buckles up. Take your time and don’t push your limits by either speeding or driving hours beyond what you should. While it’s great to get away, the most important consideration is your family’s safety.

[AAA via PRNewswire]

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