For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, approximately 34.1 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home — a 4.2 percent increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year, according to the “AAA Labor Day 2013 Holiday Travel Forecast.” The anticipated increase in holiday travel is predominantly due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market.
Defined as Thursday Aug. 29 to Monday Sept. 2, the total number of 2013 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high, according to the report.
"AAA is forecasting a lift in Labor Day travel this year due to the increasingly positive economic outlook and optimism in the housing market," said Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO. "For many Americans, their home is also their biggest asset, as home prices improve in many parts of the country more families are feeling comfortable about traveling this Labor Day holiday."
According to the AAA report, 29.2 million travelers (85 percent) plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 4.3 percent from 28 million who drove last year. The average distance is expected to be 594 miles, which is 32 miles less than last Labor Day weekend’s average of 626 miles, says the report.
Gas prices are not likely to be a major factor in determining whether to travel this Labor Day holiday. As of mid-August, prices were on average down 2.7 percent per gallon compared to the same time in 2012, says the report.
And when it comes to car rental costs, daily car rental rates on the weekend will average $51 — 32 percent more than last year's average of $39, according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight, a Colorado-based business information provider.
For the complete “AAA/IHS Global Insight Labor Day 2013 Forecast,” visit http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Labor-Day-2013-Forecast-Report-Final.pdf