The most expensive gasoline in the United States is found in Hawaii, California and Washington state, AAA said. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Gasoline prices across the United States ahead of the Labor Day weekend are the least expensive they've been in three years, analysts say.
AAA said the national average -- $2.58 per gallon on Thursday -- is 25 cents lower than this same time last year.
States with the least expensive gas are Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina -- while the most expensive is found in Hawaii, California, Washington, Nevada and Oregon.
"For Americans who bookend summer with road trips, they will find gas prices this coming weekend that are cheaper than this past Memorial Day and last year's Labor Day holiday," AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. "At the start of the week, two-thirds of all states have gas prices averages that are nearly a quarter cheaper than last year."
The lower cost probably means more people will travel at some point during the extended weekend, which makes for greater congestion.
Global mobility analytics firm INRIX said the best worst time to leave major metro areas this weekend will be from mid- to late- Thursday afternoon, when holiday drivers will converge with regular commuters. Friday afternoon and Monday morning will also be congested times, it said.
Airlines for America predicts nearly 18 million people will fly over the holiday period, an increase of 95,000 from last year. Waiting until Wednesday should let flyers avoid the busiest airport crowding.