Rising Cost Of Gas Pains Local Travellers

The weekend is a tradition. The three-day Labor Day weekend means one last trip, one last chance to see family, one last summer weekend.

"We like to take one more trip," Steve Higginbotham of Lawrence, Kansas says. "Maybe it is finalizing the summer."

Dallasite Jackie Connor agrees.

"I always feel like it's the last big weekend of the summer."

But this year, 33.4 million people hitting the roads face a new obstacle in rising gas prices. An upward trend continued with a seven cent increase just in the last week.

"I think the gas prices have taken quite a large leap," says Padillo, Oklahoma's Wesley Johnson. "and I'm not really appreciative of it."

"It seems like the prices shot up with everybody about to travel," says Anthony Price of Dallas. "I think they went up just because of that."

An average gallon of gas will run you a 1.60, just under the record price of 1.62 set in March. Drivers say that number is starting to make them think before they put it in gear.

Yani Rollings, travelling from Dallas to Chapel Hill, admits price plays a factor.

"We try not to travel on the weekends that everyone's expecting," she says. "We really plan to take trips on off weekends."

"I was thinking about going on vacation here in a month," says Mark McRae of Liberty City, "but if they keep going up I just won't go."

So while they hit the roads this weekend for the last bit of summer fun, they may just be watching the pumps before they take their next big trip.

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.