09/03/09 — Travelers will pack up for Labor Day weekend trips

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Travelers will pack up for Labor Day weekend trips

By Laura Collins
Published in News on September 3, 2009 1:46 PM

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Two motorists fuel their vehicles at the Hess station on U.S. 70 West in Goldsboro Thursday. Many residents are preparing to travel for Labor Day weekend.

Jay Dunn and a couple of his friends are using Labor Day weekend as one last chance to get out of town.

"I didn't go on vacation all summer, so this is basically my last chance to head to the beach," he said.

Dunn and his friends, of Goldsboro, were heading out of town Wednesday night on their way to Myrtle Beach, S.C. They join approximately one million other North Carolinians expected to travel more than 50 miles this weekend, according to AAA.

Sergeant R.P. Hooks, of the state Highway Patrol post in Goldsboro, said the NCHP is planning extra enforcement for the upcoming weekend.

"We expect a little more traffic volume. It's getting close to the end of the summer and people are making one last trip to the beach," he said. "We have every available trooper, including the sergeants, working the major areas. Our concentration will be on locating impaired drivers and issuing seat belt violations."

Hooks said it's important for travelers to take into consideration the possibility of more drivers on the road.

"We just want everyone to be safe and obey all the laws and be aware of the heavy traffic. Take extra precautions, monitor yourself and monitor other traffic as well."

On average in the state, gas has increased about 14 cents since Memorial Day, but travel is also expected to increase by about 100,000 this weekend compared to Memorial Day weekend travel.

"I think people assumed they didn't have the money to go on vacation this summer, so they never scheduled a trip," Dunn said. "But now it's the end of summer, and people still have a couple extra dollars so they're just taking a long-weekend kind of vacation."

According to AAA, the most popular regional destinations are Myrtle Beach and Asheville.