AAA sees more of us hitting road on Labor Day

By Reuters
Posted Aug. 25, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.

The number of Americans expected to travel during the Labor Day weekend  will rise 9.9 percent from 2009 as some aspects of the U.S. economy show signs of improvement, travel and auto group AAA said Wednesday.

Close to 34.4 million travelers will venture at least 50 miles  from home, up from 31.3 million last year when the recession curbed holiday plans, AAA forecast.

About 10.3 percent more Americans will go by car this holiday weekend, while the number traveling by air will rise by 4.6 percent, AAA predicted.

The group said that while some economic indicators such as job growth have been disappointing recently, positive signals for the U.S. economy from gross domestic product, household net worth and improved consumer confidence were prompting more Americans to take trips over the Labor Day holiday.

“While media reports on the state of the U.S. economy are mixed, many Americans are still interested in taking one more trip as the summer travel season comes to a close,” said Glen MacDonell, director of AAA Travel Services.

As more motorists take to the road for summer holidays, gasoline consumption in the U.S. rose during the driving season from a year earlier.

AAA defined the Labor Day weekend this year as falling from Sept. 2 to 6. The group says more people travel when the holiday falls earlier in September and  before the start of school.

AAA estimated median spending for the Labor Day holiday at $697 per household this year, $50 more than last year.

The group said the national price of gasoline will average between $2.65 and $2.75 per gallon that  weekend, if there is no major tropical storm in the Gulf Coast region that could disrupt fuel supplies and send prices up.

The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices will be about $2.187 per gallon, up from and average of $1.915 a gallon lasat September.

AAA expects air fares to increase by 9 percent from last year, with the lowest round-trip rates moving up to $179 for the top 40 U.S air routes.

Weekend daily car rental rates will increase 7 percent, to an average of $46 per day, it predicted.

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One comment:

  1. jack (me) Aug. 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    (1) It will be hard for travelers to hit the road, since all of the sudden a whole bunch of roads started getting hit with jackhammers, effective August 16, according to the orange signs.

    (2) Energy Information Administration, how is the average price of gasoline $2.187, when the price around here is about $2.879? AAA sounds closer to correct.