Filling up the gas tank for Labor Day weekend travel will be significantly cheaper than during the Fourth of July earlier this summer, as pump prices keep falling across the Bay State.
The average for regular gas in Massachusetts is now exactly at $4.00 a gallon — way down from the record high of $5.04 in mid-June. The average will likely break the $4 mark in the next few days with prices continuing to nose-dive.
The $4.00 average is 47 cents cheaper than a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average is 18 cents lower than the Bay State, coming in at $3.82 ahead of the holiday weekend for the unofficial end of summer.
Inventories are lower in the Northeast compared to other parts of the country, leading to higher prices.
“Prices continue to fall steadily, however, and that’s good news for motorists planning their last summer driving trip over the upcoming Labor Day weekend,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast’s director of public and government affairs.
According to an informal regional survey of AAA members, 31% say they plan to travel for Labor Day weekend, while 49% will not travel. Also in the survey, 70% of decisions the respondents admitted that inflation —including higher gas and price prices — played a role in their travel.
However, a significant number of respondents said they plan to travel in the remaining months of the year or in 2023, especially with salary prices expected to decline this fall and winter.
After gas prices spiked in the spring amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prices have now declined every week of the summer.
“It was a dizzying time as gas prices surged ahead of summer, which caused many Americans to rethink their summer travel plans, only for the longest decline in gas prices since the pandemic to start providing meaningful relief,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “As the sun sets on summer, gas prices are in far more familiar territory and could continue to decline well into fall, barring major disruptions from hurricanes and the likes.”
For those hitting the road on Labor Day weekend, AAA encourages drivers to leave early if possible. Also, while gas prices are falling, people should fill up their tank before they hit the road because gas is typically pricier at popular tourist destinations.
Ahead of the holiday weekend, state officials were reminding people to not drink and drive.
“Over #LaborDay weekend in 2020, 38% of traffic fatalities in the US involved a driver who had been drinking,” MassDOT Safety tweeted. “The choice is simple: If you’re drinking, don’t drive. #DriveSober or Get Pulled Over.”