AAA projects approximately 31.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day holiday weekend, a 2.4 percent decline from the 32.3 million who traveled in 2010. This small decrease is being attributed to recent economic uncertainty and increasing airfare. However, Labor Day continues to be a busy travel weekend as families and friends gather for one last celebration of summer.
“The Labor Day weekend is an opportunity for families to head to favorite vacation spots one last time before the busy fall season begins,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president for public and government affairs at AAA. “AAA offices are busy helping families make travel plans to hit the open road and the skies over the holiday weekend.”
Additional information regarding Labor Day holiday travel includes:
* 27.3 million Americans are expected to drive to holiday destinations, an increase of 0.5 percent.
* About 2.5 million travelers will fly during the holiday weekend, down slightly by 1.9 percent from last year.
Average spending is expected to be $702, approximately $5 more than last year’s average of $697; Distance traveled over the upcoming holiday weekend is expected to average 608 miles.
Airfare over the holiday weekend is expected to increase 13 percent from last year with the lowest round-trip airfare averaging $202.
Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond properties are also expected to increase this year, up six percent to an average of $148 per night compared to $139 per night last year.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.