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      More travelers expected to be on the move than last year

      More travelers are expected to hit the road for the Labor Day weekend than last year.

      More travelers are expected to hit the road for the Labor Day weekend than last year.

      AAA Travel estimates 34.1 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from their homes during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. That is a 4.2 percent increase from last year.

      Officials estimate the increase in travelers is due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market. AAA said this number is expected to reach a "post-recession" high.

      Hitting the road for the long weekend? You may want to avoid traveling on Friday, August 30, when 46 percent of travelers will be departing for the weekend.

      "As schools across the nation usher in their next session of students, the Labor Day holiday provides families with the opportunity for one final extended summer weekend getaway," said Robert L. Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA.

      Typically, families are taking advantage of this last getaway by car. 29.2 million people plan to drive to their vacation spot. That number accounts for 85 percent of weekend travelers.

      Gas prices do not seem to be affecting travelers. As of mid-month, prices were down an average of 2.7 percent per gallon compared to the same time last year. The average price for gas last year was $3.83 per gallon, the most expensive on record for the holiday.

      The current average price for a gallon of gas is $3.54, 18 cents lower than last year. The Traverse City area is seeing some of the lowest prices in the state currently hovering around $3.40. The highest average in the state is the Marquette area where prices are about $3.62 per gallon, according to AAA Michigan.

      The average traveler is expected to cover 594 miles over Labor Day weekend and spend $804.