AAA Travel projects 34.1 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday, a 4.2 percent increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year.
The anticipated increase in holiday travel is predominantly due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market. The total number of holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high.
The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.
“Although this summer’s holiday travel numbers were pretty lackluster compared to last year, Labor Day travel is forecast to end the summer with a bang,” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman, AAA Travel, The Auto Club Group. “More people are forecast to travel this Labor Day weekend since the post-recession high of 45 million in 2008.”
AAA predicts more than 805,000 Georgians will be traveling by car for the weekend, while more than 66,000 will be flying. Another 47,000 Georgians are projected to travel by other means, with a total of 918,875 Georgians traveling.
Approximately 29 million people (85 percent) plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 4.3 percent from the 28 million who drove last year.
Gas prices are unlikely to deter travelers this holiday, after falling below year-ago levels. The average price for gas on Labor Day 2012 was $3.83 per gallon, the most expensive average ever on record for the holiday. The current national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.54, 18 cents lower than last year.
At this time, AAA forecasts gas prices will remain less expensive than last year based on current trends, but there remains the potential for late-summer hurricanes and increased violence in Egypt that could send prices higher.