Triple A

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Memorial Day means holiday travel, and AAA Idaho says the number of trips in the state, and the country, are going up. Here's a preview of what to expect.

This Memorial Day weekend, more people will be traveling, especially driving. Some of the reasons are a lower unemployment rate, relatively low gas prices and the fact that the economic recession is in the rear-view mirror.

Julio Cortez / AP

Gas prices have been flat for a month, except in Idaho. The Gem State’s prices are up.

AAA Idaho says the state’s average price went up seven cents in February to $2.44 a gallon. The national average is $2.30 a gallon.

The price hike began when Plains All American Pipeline had to shut down its Wasatch gas pipeline. That cut off the supply of crude oil from Wyoming to Salt Lake City where it gets refined into gasoline. Without a pipeline, the oil is being sent by truck, which takes time and costs more.

Nathan Feir / Flickr

Going somewhere over the July 4 weekend? You are not alone. AAA Idaho says 215,000 Idahoans will be traveling over the holiday period.

AAA Idaho says Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, thanks to summer vacations and kids out of school.

Around the country, 43 million Americans are expected to travel over the weekend. That’s five million more than Memorial Day. Idaho and other mountain states will see 3.2 million holiday trips.

Thanks to low gas prices, 173,000 Idahoans will take their car when they travel this weekend.

Jeremy Brooks / Flickr

AAA Idaho says check your trunk – you may not have a spare tire. A relatively new trend by car manufacturers leaves the spare and the jack by the roadside, as it were, in an effort to get better gas mileage.

Over the last ten years, car makers have been getting rid of the 30-pound spare tire to help meet tougher federal fuel standards. A new study by AAA says more than one in three cars being made today simply don't have a spare.

Indiana Stan / Flickr

Gas prices in Idaho are falling fast, compared to the rest of the country. Idaho’s prices have dropped 30 cents in the last 30 days, while the U.S. average price has dropped just a nickel over the last month.

Triple A Idaho’s Dave Carlson says Idaho’s gas prices were well above where they should have been. A month ago, they were 46 cents higher than the national average.

Carlson says there are five refineries that serve the southwestern part of the state and they may not have been able to keep up with the need in this part of the country.