Americans are ready to travel for Labor Day weekend, despite the higher gas prices. AAA expects travel to be up almost 3% nationwide for the holiday with increases in both car and air travel.
Jenny Robinson of AAA Mid Atlantic says consumer confidence has improved compared to a year ago and more people are prioritizing travel. Timing may be a factor as well; she says travel tends to go up when the holiday weekend begins at the end of August. This year, Labor Day falls on September 3rd and the travel period begins on August 30th.
There are signs of economizing, with more than half of travelers saying their trips will be shorter. While the number of projected miles per trip is up slightly over last year, Robinson says air travel is likely fueling the extra miles. More people are expected to head to their destinations by both plane and car than last Labor Day weekend. Travel by automobile is expected to rise by 3.1% with air travel up 3.7%. Median spending is expected to increase slightly.
It’s the third increase in holiday travel this year. AAA projects that 33 million Americans will make trips of 50 miles or more during the last holiday weekend of summer. As the holiday weekend approaches, further shifts in gas prices could encourage, or discourage travel.