Labor Day forecast: Highest number of travelers since 2008

AAA is estimating that 34.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

AAA said the forecast represents the highest volume for the holiday since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over 2013.

Nearly 86 percent of travelers (29.7 million) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school.

“Historically, when Labor Day weekend begins in August, Americans have shown a higher tendency to travel,” said Jennifer Cook, spokeswoman for AAA Washington. “That, coupled with an increase in consumer confidence, makes celebrating with an all-American road trip a popular choice for travelers this holiday.”

The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, Aug. 28 to Monday, Sept. 1.

Highlights from 2014 AAA Labor Day Travel Forecast:

• Automobile travel will increase by 1.4 percent this year, with 29.7 million travelers planning to hit the road.

• Nearly 8 percent of travelers (2.65 million) will travel by air, a 1 percent increase from last year.

• Travelers will encounter airfares approximately 2 percent higher than last year.

AAA also reported that most U.S. consumers are paying the lowest gas prices for early August since 2010. The organization expects gas prices to have little impact on the number of people traveling for Labor Day, though lower prices could help make travel more affordable.

Prices are likely to remain relatively low leading up to the holiday weekend compared to recent years, according to AAA.

The current price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Washington state Tuesday is $3.88, 45 cents above the national average.

In the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, the average cost for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.93 Tuesday.



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