Gayle Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says it’ll be a busy Labor Day weekend on the state’s roads, waterways and airports.
“We are expecting to see about 34.1-million Americans traveling, which is 4.2% more than last year,” Weinholzer says. “Interestingly, this is the first of the three summer holidays that’s showing an increase over last year. Both Memorial Day and the 4th of July showed about a 1% decline.”
She says the total number of Labor Day weekend travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high.
“We’re seeing more consumer spending on travel, specifically,” Weinholzer says. “It’s also the fact this is the last chance to get out there and experience a vacation prior to sending the kids back to school. We’re also seeing gas prices down almost 20-cents compared to Labor Day last year.”
Of all the Iowans who will be traveling next weekend, she says 85% of them will be traveling by motor vehicle, so gasoline prices are a key factor.
“Certainly, we saw a nice decline heading into the 4th of July,” Weinholzer says. “Currently in Iowa, the prices are $3.51 compared to a national average $3.53, so, not only did we see a decline heading into the 4th of July, we’re seeing a decline heading into Labor Day as well.”
The AAA survey of intending travelers finds the average distance that will be traveled during the Labor Day weekend is 594 miles. That’s 32 fewer miles than last year.