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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nearly 34.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, according to AAA, marking the highest volume for the holiday since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over 2013.

Nearly 86 percent of travelers (29.7 million), including almost five million in New York, Pennsylvania and other states in the Mid-Atlantic region, will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as today through Monday.

“Millions in the Mid-Atlantic region are planning a trip to celebrate their last taste of summer freedom before settling back into the school and work routines of the fall season,” said Jim Lehman, president of AAA East Central.  “We are ending summer on a positive note with travel demand trending upward.”

More than 4.78 million people from the Mid-Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), expect to travel this holiday weekend by automobile, air and other forms of transportation. This represents an increase of 0.6 percent from Labor Day 2013. Some 4 million will be traveling by car, about 0.6 percent more than last year. Air travel is expected to increase slightly by 0.4% in the region with 408,000 expected to fly for the holiday.

Labor Day Travel Highlights:

  • Historically, when Labor Day weekend begins in August, Americans have shown a higher tendency to travel.
  • Nationally, Automobile travel will increase by 1.4 percent this year, with 29.7 million travelers hitting the road.
  • Nearly eight percent of travelers (2.65 million) will travel by air, a one percent increase from last year.
  • Travelers will encounter airfares just two percent higher than last year and daily car rental costs that remain consistent at $51.
  • Hotel rates at AAA Two Diamond hotels are nine percent higher than last year and Three Diamond hotels are six percent more.
  • Travelers are likely to pay lower gas prices for Labor Day

Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase six percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $171 per night compared to $161 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen nine percent with an average cost of $125 per night.

Weekend daily car rental rates will average $51, the same as last year. Airfares have risen two percent.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider 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. More information including an infographic for the AAA / IHS Global Insight 2014 Labor Day Travel Forecast can be found here.

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