EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA - AAA Carolinas thinks a few more North Carolina motorists will be on the road for the Memorial Day weekend.
The Charlotte-based motor club estimates that 897,300 motorists are expected to hit the road beginning Thursday. That represents a 1.5 percent increase over last year.
A significant drop in gas prices is helping to fuel the increase in holiday travel. The current average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in North Carolina is $3.43, ninth lowest in the country. That's down 37 cents since peaking on Feb. 22.
Lauren Trogdon said she plans to spend her Memorial Day weekend with her family at Minnesott Beach. She said as a mother of two kids lower gas prices is great news.
"It's wonderful, It's an awesome feeling because every little bit helps," she said.
North Carolina's average price is 12 cents per gallon less than on May 22, 2012.
Jimmie Fernandez, of New Bern, is heading to Virginia to see his wife and kids for the weekend. He said when it cost $70 to fill up your car, lower is always better.
"I'm happy to hear that gas prices are down so is my wallet. I can certainly use the extra money," said Fernandez.
B.R. Browder said although he plans to stay home in Emerald Isle for the holiday weekend, lower gas prices mean more water activities for him and his family.
"We can put gas in the boat this weekend and my wife's Sea-Do, all kinds of little things we'll save money on," said Browder.
Wilmington has the state's highest average gasoline prices at $3.45. North Carolina's cheapest gas on average is in Boone and High Point, which are both at $3.37.