ROANOKE, Va. – Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to Labor Day weekend travel.
Morgan Dean, Spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said that Friday afternoon’s traffic should be the heaviest this weekend.
“Later today we’re going to have the evening rush hour and you can also have a lot of people who already hit the road for traveling. When you have those two things coming together, there really is the potential for traffic backups,” Dean said.
Compared to Memorial Day and July 4th, Labor Day generally has fewer travelers. Especially with the holiday being around the time students are returning to the classroom.
“With Labor Day and especially with a lot of school systems and the trend for school systems to go back before Labor Day, it may not be as much of an opportunity for families to travel,” Dean said.
Gas prices have also been steadily declining.
The national gas price average has dropped $1.13 per gallon since setting an all-time high record of $5.01 per gallon on June 14.
In Roanoke, gas prices are averaging $3.46 per gallon according to AAA. The prices were above $4 per gallon back during Independence Day.
“That could actually be the flip of the coin here for Labor Day. Looking at those gas prices and saying wow prices were almost at $5 a couple of weeks ago … now I’m seeing lots of prices in the mid-$3,” Dean said. “Maybe we can afford to do something so there’s an opportunity for a last-minute getaway for the Labor Day weekend.”
Labor Day weekend falls on the same weekend college football returns this year, which means people will be on the roads heading to their tailgates and games too.
“Between evening rush-hour, holiday travelers and college football fans that are trying to get to tailgates and trying to get to games ... it can be busy on the roadways this weekend,” Dean said.