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Prepare to pay more at the pump this Labor Day weekend

If you’re planning to travel for the Labor Day weekend this year, you should pack some extra cash.

According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, the demand for travel is driving up gas prices. The agency said Thursday and Friday are the busiest travel days for the holiday weekend in Southern California.

The agency’s booking data for domestic flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises are up 4% and international bookings are up 44% compared to last year’s Labor Day weekend.


"We did see that demand went up last week. So that was putting upward pressure on pump prices," AAA's senior public affairs specialist Anlleyn Venegas said. "Also high wholesale gasoline prices were also an important factor."

She said wholesale prices dropped this week, which gave some relief to consumers. But with the average price for gas at $5.367, it’s still 13.4 cents higher than what it was a year ago.

Until Wednesday, prices in San Diego have been rising for 35 straight days, even though crude oil prices have remained consistent.

Venegas said several factors contributed to the spike in prices.

“There were a few issues with a couple of refineries in Wilmington and Carson," she said. "Also, even though the storm Hillary didn't have any significant impact on refineries, for some reason, they still increase gas prices just in case there were any issues.”


AAA expects prices to drop after Labor Day.

Here are some tips from AAA to save on gasoline

  • Drive the speed limit on the highway 
  • Use cruise control when possible
  • Shop around for cheap gas

Costco and Sam’s Club’s pumps are always good options if you’re a member. You could also try the GasBuddy app where people report cheap gas stations locations.

And where are Southern Californians driving to this Labor Day Weekend? According to AAA, the top of the list is San Diego, followed by Las Vegas, the Central Coast, the Grand Canyon and Mexico.