The final holiday fling of summer is just ahead and an increase in travel is expected, compared to last year. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says there will be plenty of motorists on the state’s roads over the Labor Day weekend.

Weinholzer says an increase of about ten-percent is expected over 2009, which is “fairly substantial.” Nationwide, the motor club predicts more than 34-million people will be traveling over the four-day weekend. She says a variety of reasons are behind the anticipated boost in the number of holiday travelers.

Job growth has been disappointing but the gross domestic product is still rising, along with net worth for households and consumer confidence, while the debt is dropping and gas prices are fairly steady. Plus, Weinholzer says, “folks just want to get out and get one last vacation before they start heading into the fall season.”

Weinholzer said the rising travel trend should be promising for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. She says it bodes well for the last two major holidays of the year. In 2008, all five major holidays saw a drop in travel from the previous year as gasoline prices spiked over $4 a gallon.

Gasoline prices statewide are now averaging $2.61 a gallon, which is 13-cents higher than a year ago. The national average is six-cents higher than the state average. Iowa’s all-time high gas price hit $4.02 a gallon in July of 2008.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City