AAA: Travel down for Labor Day weekend

September 2, 2011 4:58:31 AM PDT
A long holiday weekend kicks off Friday for many people, but fewer are expected to travel far from home.

AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher says travel is down, and a lot of people are choosing to say in the Chicago area for the Labor Day weekend.

"We have seen a huge dichotomy between the 'haves' and 'have nots' like we have never seen before. Those people who make over $100,000 still traveling. Those people who make under $50,000 really decided to stay home. That is affecting the numbers," Mosher said.

As for reasons why travel might be down, Mosher said: "The economy, instability in their jobs, and lack of disposable income, as well as the high gas prices we have been paying for some time now really having an effect on people." While gas prices are hovering around $4 a gallon, Mosher says drivers shouldn't expect a break on gas prices anytime soon.

"Oil still is a little bit high, but we've seen a lot of refinery problems throughout the Midwest and that's pushing our prices here in Chicago and Illinois higher," Mosher said.

For people staying in the Chicago area for the Labor Day weekend, Mosher says there are plenty of things for people to do.

"Chicago is going to be a great location this weekend for suburbanites, and for people in downstate Illinois. There are lots of great deals out there from different places, and lots of great things to see, too, the museum, the lakeshore, of course, Navy Pier," Mosher said.

Despite a dip in travel, 7 million people are expected to hit the roadways over the weekend. A lot of people on the roads and police will be out enforcing the seatbelt laws, so officials say to make sure you buckle up.

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