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Labor Day Travels Highest Since Recession

August 28, 2014 12:54 am

AAA Travel projects that nearly 35 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2008. Eighty-six percent of travelers will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school.

Other trends forecasted this Labor Day include:
  • Historically, Americans have shown a higher tendency to travel when Labor Day weekend begins in August.
  • Consumer spending has surpassed income growth, indicating that Americans are willing to take on debt to finance a vacation.
  • Automobile travel will increase, with 29.7 million travelers hitting the road. Gas prices are expected to remain low.
  • Nearly eight percent of travelers will travel by air.
"As the economy makes modest gains, more Americans are joining the labor force this year," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. "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."
Consumer spending is continuing to rise in spite of stagnant income growth. In the third quarter of this year spending is expected to increase 3.8 percent year-over-year, while disposable personal income is only expected to increase 1.4 percent. Reliance on credit cards, rather than increasing income, is fueling holiday travel spending this year. While economic growth is slow, consumers are feeling more comfortable taking on debt.

"This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation," continued Doney. "Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year."

Source: AAA

Published with permission from RISMedia.