The kids are going back to school and the weather will soon start to cool. While Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer, there is still time to sneak in one last vacation.
A recent survey from Expedia (EXPE) found that nearly 25% of Americans plan to travel over the Sept. 4 weekend, which means the roads will be filled with traffic and airports and hotels will be packed. But never fear, there is a method to navigating the holiday madness. Here are a few tips to help you save time and money over Labor Day weekend.
The best day to travel
The website RewardExpert analyzed five years of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine the best day to take a flight. According to the results, travelers flying on Aug. 30 will encounter fewer delays and cancellations. If your plans are small, flying the day before Labor Day (Sept. 3) will also offer fewer setbacks.
On the flipside, Sept. 5 and 6 will be very busy days to travel.
Gauge gas prices
Gas prices in 2017 have been relatively low compared to previous years, but they continue to fluctuate state by state. This means that drivers will have to be strategic when choosing where to fill up. On Aug. 21, AAA found that the national average for gas was $2.33 a gallon.
If you’re looking to save, South Carolina currently has the cheapest gas, averaging about $2.06 a gallon. Alabama and Mississippi have the second cheapest gas at $2.09 a gallon, followed by Oklahoma and Arkansas at $2.10 a gallon.
In the Midwest, East and South, prices were about 2 cents cheaper on Aug. 21 compared to the previous week, while West Coasters have seen gas prices jump 3 cents in the past seven days.
“Prices at the pump continue a slow, upward climb as the summer season draws to a close,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As we get closer to Labor Day and demand and production rates grow, drivers will likely see some of the highest prices at the pump this year.”
Download the GasBuddy app on your smartphone to find the cheapest gas along your road trip route.