LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - Millions of Americans are planning to hit the road this Labor Day Weekend, but questions about the nation's economy have made this year a down year for holiday travel.
31.5 million Americans will still be traveling, but AAA says that is a 2.5% decrease from one year ago. There are a lot of factors that go into why were seeing that decrease, and if you are a regular traveler, you can probably think of a lot of them off the top of your head.
One of the reasons is airfare. According to AAA, if you are planning on flying, you can expect to see a 13% increase in your airfare compared to last year. Because of that, AAA expects about 2% fewer people will be booking a flight for the Labor Day Weekend travel period. Experts say a recent rise in gas prices is contributing to those higher airfares.
As for driving, roughly 27 million people plan on doing that. That is a slight increase over last year. Driving remains the most popular way for people to get around this weekend.
While a lot of people are predicted to be traveling, this is not one of the busier years, and according to AAA, that is because of the way people feel about the overall economy. People are unsure about the stock market; their retirement accounts have taken some recent big hits, the housing market is still in decline, and the average cost to travel this year has increased by nearly 7%.
And we can't forget Tropical Storm Irene; she plays a role in this especially for us here in New England because a lot of those popular vacation destinations like Vermont and areas in the Berkshires are still dealing with flood damage.