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Traffic Expert Predicts Holiday Weekend Outlook

Gas prices might've fallen recently, but that piece of good news isn't translating into holiday road trips. AAA says that economic concerns, tight budgets and lagging consumer confidence are taking their toll on Labor Day vacations this year. According to AAA's Annual Labor Day Holiday survey, 31.5 million Americans -- a 2.4 percent.

AAA spokesperson Fran Mayko says, "Labor Day traditionally is a slower summer travel holiday weekend for families because many schools convene in late August. But this year, that's not the main reason why fewer families are travelling this holiday: they're just feeling the financial pinch associated with summer's last fling."

A recent AAA survey suggests that high gas prices, increased airfares and overall economic uncertainty are also contributing to this year's decline.

According to AAA, of the overall 31.5 million travelers:

~ 27.3 million people or 87 percent plan to hit the nation's roadways, an increase of .5 percent compared with last year;

~ Nearly 2.5 million travelers will fly, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2010; the remaining 5 percent will take some other mode of travel, down 8 percent from last year.

The spike in gas prices in 2011 significantly increased and that affected travel. In recent weeks, however, there has been a slow decrease in prices, even though they're still high compared to last year. For example, the national average price of a gallon of regular gas, approximately $3.58 cents, is higher than a year ago, but 11 cents lower than a month ago.

The good news can be summed up in two words: less traffic.

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