Nearly 35 million Americans to travel for Labor Day, AAA predicts

1.3 percent increase over last year, most since 2008

August 21, 2014|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

Nearly 35 million Americans are expected to travel for Labor Day weekend this year, a slight increase over last year and the most since recession-driven declines began in 2008, according to driver advocacy organization AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The group expects 34.7 million people to travel 50 miles or more over the course of the holiday weekend, a 1.3 percent increase from 2013. Of those, about 86 will go by car, the group predicts. Nearly 8 percent will travel by air.

"Despite stagnant income growth and a modest economic recovery, consumers continue to remain enthusiastic about traveling and are willing to pull out their credit cards to pay for the last holiday weekend trip of the summer," said Ragina Cooper-Averella, a AAA spokeswoman, in a statement.

Most Americans are paying the lowest gas prices for this time of the year since 2010, and barring a major incident like an East Coast hurricane, those low prices are likely to continue through the holiday weekend, AAA said.

On Wednesday, the average national gas price was $3.44 a gallon, compared to $3.59 on Labor Day last year, AAA said.

The group said it will release estimated travel numbers specific to Maryland on Tuesday.

krector@baltsun.com

twitter.com/rectorsun

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