WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 02, 2010, 09:34 AM

AAA: Increase in travel a sign of economic improvement

(WDAY TV) - Labor Day Weekend is widely viewed as the last weekend of summer and it appears more people will be enjoying one last blast of summer. It's a good sign for the economy, more of you will be hitting the road.

If you're heading out of town this Labor Day weekend, you're not alone. AAA estimates 3 million more Americans will travel 50 miles or further from home and shell out more cash than last year.

AAA says that increase could be due to economic improvement. Even though unemployment numbers are still high, consumer debt is decreasing and consumer confidence is up. The perfect recipe for a road trip!

Even though nationwide gas prices are averaging 10 cents more than last year at this time, 31 and a half million people plan on driving to their Labor Day destination. Hotel, car, and vacation reservations are also up. A local campground is even seeing a steady stream of visitors.

"I think a lot of people want to get out and see stuff rather than just stay in a hotel. They actually want to experience something new, kind of get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just get out and kind of enjoy being outside and fresh air."

Air travel is also up this weekend, but 91% of travelers will be packing up and hitting the roads.

Americans are expected to pay an average of $50 dollars more on their travels this Labor Day than they did last year, travelling an average distance of 635 miles.