AAA: Travelers expected to save $1.4b at the pump over Labor Day weekend

KIMT News 3 – AAA estimates about 35.5 million people will travel more than 50 miles away from home in the U.S. this Labor Day weekend. Those people will be paying $1.4 billion less at the pump over the four-day weekend according to GasBuddy.com.

The price of gas across the country dropped about 18 cents during the month of August, leading to the cheapest Labor Day prices in more than a decade.

“Those of us who are retired and travel, we do keep an eye on it,” said Jons Olsson of Waterloo, Iowa. “I don’t travel a lot, but we do keep an eye on the gas prices to be sure. It’s a boon, it’s a help when you get out on the highway, especially when you pull a rig like this [fifth wheel camper].”

He expects to see more people on the roads as he travels to South Dakota through Albert Lea.

“I talk to a lot of people who travel,” Olsson said. “With the gas prices being down, some are saying I’m going to take advantage of it and go or I’m going to go a little further. I wasn’t going to go to this place, now I am.”

GasBuddy analysts predict nearly 70 percent of the country’s gas stations will be priced under $2.50 a gallon. Compare that to zero percent last year.

The average price of unleaded gas in Minnesota is $2.41 a gallon, although it’s cheaper in southern Minnesota. In Iowa, gas is averaging $2.54 a gallon. Like Minnesota, north Iowa counties are seeing lower prices at the pump than the state average, however, Cerro Gordo County averages about 12 cents higher and Howard County averages about 31 cents higher than the state average.

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