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August 28, 2015
Over 35 Million Traveling for Labor Day Says AAA, Highest Travel Volume Since 2008
MADISON, WI, (August 28, 2015) – AAA Travel projects 35.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2008 and a one percent increase over 2014. While the majority of travelers (30.4 million, 86 percent of all travelers) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close, air travel is also projected to grow 1.5 percent this holiday. Over 2.6 million travelers are expected to travel by air, making this the largest volume of air travel since 2007 for this holiday period. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 3 to Monday, September 7.
 
In Wisconsin, more than 760,000 people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 1.8 percent increase from 2014. Of those travelers, just over 676,000 will be driving (a 1.8 percent increase compared with 2014) and almost 56,000 will be flying to their destination (a 1.7 percent increase from 2014). Gas prices across Wisconsin are averaging $2.73, down significantly from $3.43 in 2014.
 
Highlights from 2015 Labor Day Travel Forecast include:
 
  • Historically, when Labor Day weekend falls later in the calendar, Americans have shown less inclination to travel. As Labor Day falls on September 7, the latest possible day it can occur, the overall travel growth potential is dampened somewhat this year.
  • Rising wages and falling gas prices have helped boost disposable income, which has risen 3.5 percent over last year, but some consumers are using that money to save and pay debts.
  • Automobile travel will increase by 1.1 percent this year, with 30.4 million travelers hitting the road.
  • Nearly 7.4 percent of travelers (2.6 million) will travel by air, a 1.5 percent increase from last year.
“A strong labor market coupled with greater job security and rising home prices have all helped to increase disposable income,” said AAA Wisconsin spokesperson Nick Jarmusz. “Though some consumers remain cautious, these positive indicators are driving a slight increase and allowing millions of Americans to travel for one last summer getaway.”
 
Lowest Labor Day gas prices in at least five years expected
Despite recent price spikes in the Midwest gas prices, travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower prices compared to recent years. Drivers in Wisconsin will pay the lowest gas prices since 2010. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.57, $.86 cents less than the average price from a year ago; this is the lowest U.S. average since 2009. Drivers can use the 
AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices close to home and along the way to their holiday destinations. Travelers can also plan routes and fun stops for the whole family at AAA.com using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner; members can save and share customized routes for use on a smartphone, tablet or with the AAA Mobile app.

Airfares Dip, Hotel Rates Climb
According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates are expected to average higher this Labor Day holiday, while the cost of a flight is slightly lower. 

 
  • AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to be the highest in five years, increasing 2 percent from one year ago, with travelers spending an average of $175 compared to $171.
  • The average rate for Two Diamond properties increased 10% from Labor Day 2014. Year-to-date through August, the average rate for Two Diamond hotels has increased 9%. The $138 average is 13 cents higher than last year, and the highest for this holiday in the past five years.
  • Airfares are down 1 percent, with the average round-trip discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $216, down from $219 last year.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. More information including an infographic for the AAA / IHS Global Insight 2015 Labor Day Travel Forecast can be found here.
 
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at
AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.
 

Contact(s):

Nick Jarmusz
phone: 608-828-2495
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

 


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