Labor Day travel expected to be up 5 percent this year

Labor Day travel expected to be up 5 percent this year An estimated 33.7 million Americans are expected to travel 100 miles or more from home this Labor Day holiday, up nearly 5 percent over last year despite continued high gas prices, according to AAA.

This year's increase in travel comes despite a 23-cent surge in gas prices over the same period last year. The AAA Fuel Gauge Report shows the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline today is $1.49 per gallon.

The record for Labor Day holiday travel is 34.9 million that was set in 1997. Approximately 28.3 million plan to travel by automobile, light truck or recreational vehicle, nearly 6 percent higher than last year's 26.8 million motorists. Holiday travel by air, bus, rail or ship is expected to reach 5.4 million, the same number as last Labor Day.

Most auto travelers will originate in the West, with 7.2 million, followed by the Southeast with 6.5 million; Midwest, 5.6 million; Northeast, 4.7 million; and Great Lakes, 4.3 million.

The largest number of travelers plan to visit cities and towns or rural areas, 25 percent each, and 19 percent expect to visit oceans or beaches.

Other popular destinations include mountains, 13 percent; lakes, 7 percent; state or national parks, 4 percent; theme or amusement parks, 3 percent; and other, 3 percent. Another 1 percent had not yet determined their destination.

Of those spending at least one night at their destination, 46 percent plan to stay at a hotel or motel while 26 percent will be staying with a friend or relative.

Other overnight plans include: camper/trailer/RV/tent, 14 percent; cabin or condo, 8 percent; bed and breakfast inn, 1 percent. Another 4 percent had not made overnight plans while 1 percent hadn't decided.

AAA's Labor Day travel projections are based on a national travel survey of 1,500 adults by the Travel Industry Association, which conducts special research for AAA.

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