Labor Day means saying goodbye to the summer, and many Americans are spending the holiday weekend on one last getaway. The American Automobile Association, or AAA, forecasted 34.7 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home, a 1.3 percent increase over 2013 and the highest number since 2008. About 29.7 million Americans will be on a road for a final summer getaway.
“With Labor Day symbolizing the American workers’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country, it’s only fitting that millions are choosing to celebrate this positive direction with an all-American road trip,” AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney said in a statement. AAA credits consumer confidence, increased spending and lower unemployment rates as factors behind the increase in holiday travelers.
Another important factor to consider is the price of gas. In advance of the Fourth of July holiday, AAA projected a similar increase in the number of Americans on the roads, but noted the cost of gas then was at its highest level in more than six years. In contrast, Labor Day gas prices will be at four-year lows, averaging around $3.45 per gallon. The Energy Information Administration cites lower crude-oil prices as the main reason for the cheap gas. Last year, the average gas price soared to $3.83 per gallon.
Airfare is comparatively flat with 2013, registering a 1 percent increase, while daily car-rental rates are about $51 this Labor Day weekend, AAA reported. Staying at a hotel is slightly more expensive: AAA Two Diamond hotel rates are 9 percent higher, and Three Diamond hotel rates are 6 percent higher.
Here is an AAA infographic breaking down Labor Day 2014 travel: