Although gas prices have increased over the past month, travel organization AAA-Mid Atlantic says it doesn't expect prices to affect Labor Day travel.
Across the nation, gas costs about $2.22 per gallon on average, 2 cents higher than the previous week. In Maryland, gas prices were about $2.23 on average as of Sept. 1, an increase from the $2.19 price last week, according to a news release from AAA-Mid Atlantic.
Although prices are increasing in the nation and Maryland, AAA says the prices are the lowest around Labor Day since 2004, said Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA's public and government affairs manager.
This year, AAA did not conduct a travel forecast for Labor Day, noting that it's the least traveled of the summer holidays — Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Over the past two years, about 732,000 Maryland residents traveled on Labor Day, Christine Delise, AAA's senior public affairs specialist, said in an email.
The average price in Westminster is $2.24, a 6-cent jump from the previous week and a 22-cent increase from the previous month, she said in an email.
Gas prices around Westminster on Wednesday ranged from $2.19 at the Hess gas station by Gorsuch Road to $2.24 at the Giant gas station off Center Street.
For Westminster resident Mike Byrd, who is in the vanpool business, the increasing gas prices have not worried him.
"Right now I don't have to worry about it, but if it ever got up to $3 again, I'd have to start worrying," Byrd said.
Byrd said he fills up with about 24 gallons every four days. He accounts for how much he'll spend on gas when deciding how much he charges customers. Right now, gas prices fit in his budget, but if they continue to rise, he might have to re-evaluate, he said.
"I've noticed them [prices] creeping up, but I always notice that around the Labor Day holiday," Hayman said.
AAA's Cooper Averella said prices do not rise just because of holidays like Labor Day. Increases in gas prices rely heavily on the changes in crude oil prices, and those prices are affected by various factors, including tropical storms, geo-political conflicts and refinery issues, she said.