Labor Day weekend travel expected to be busy despite rising gas prices

LEWISTON, ID - Many Americans traveling this Labor Day weekend will likely notice gas prices have jumped even higher from the already costly prices.

Although gas prices are high, AAA projects the number of Americans traveling this weekend will increase by 2.9% from the same holiday weekend in 2011. That means approximately 33 million travelers or about 10% of the population is taking a trip at least 50 miles or more away from home. But for some Valley residents even considering traveling over the weekend is out of the question.

"I knew the holiday was coming," said gas price critic Kathy Ward. "I fully expected jump up and it has, so I basically will just not drive my car until they start coming down again."

Despite the fact that gas in Idaho is currently less expensive than in half of Idaho's neighboring states, the national average price for regular gas is up eight cents in the past week to $3.72, which is up 20 cents from a month ago.

"It's nothing but price gouging is all it is, period," said gas price critic Sid Palmer. "If you interviewed people or took a sample across the United States, I think the super majority of people would say the same thing."

Many Americans continue to fuel up their vehicles, keeping gas stations active, for what Triple AAA anticipates to be the busiest Labor Day weekend since 2008.

"I thought it was going to decrease a little bit," said Dyna-Mart Chevron Assistant Manager Sarah Schell. "Obviously because it is spiking and it's going up high really quick, but as it being we're busy right now, nothing's decreasing."

Granted prices are up due to a number of problems around the country, LC Valley residents didn't seem too surprised with the spike in numbers, especially since this weekend many people take to traveling for the holidays.

"This is the same story every year," said Palmer. "On almost any holiday they try to jump it up a little bit and they do."

"I think you can bet your last dollar that they'll jack them up every holiday weekend," said Ward.

According to, Idahoans are currently paying an average of $3.74 at the pump and Washington residents are paying $4.

The projected increase in gas purchases is expected to reach a new post recession high for Labor Day weekend and is the third increase in holiday travel this year.