An improving economy and lower gas prices are expected to drive a 5- percent increase in Labor Day weekend travel, according to AAA Carolinas.

An expected 445,200 South Carolina residents will travel more than 50 miles out-of-town from Thursday through Monday. Gas prices heading into this weekend are the lowest they’ve been for any Labor Day holiday since 2010, said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas.

Palmetto State gas prices have fallen to $3.24 as of today, which is nearly 8-percent lower than Labor Day weekend last year and currently the cheapest gas in the country, according to AAA Carolinas.

Last year, Hurricane Isaac dampened Labor Day travel in the Carolinas. Poor weather and a sharp spike in gas prices deterred many last-minute travelers. This year, the National Weather Service forecasts a pleasant weekend ahead with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s throughout most of the East Coast.

The most popular driving destinations for Carolinas travelers are Asheville, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Charlotte and San Francisco, according to AAA Vacations.