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AAA Forecasts Labor Day Weekend Automobile Travel Up 3.1%

AAA Travel projects that 33 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend — a 2.9 percent increase from the 32.10 million people who traveled last year. The total number of 2012 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high, and would mark the third increase in holiday travel this year.

Roughly 28.20 million people, or 85 percent of holiday travelers, are expected to make their Labor Day journey by automobile. This is a 3.1-percent increase over the 27.30 million people who took to the nation’s roadways over the 2011 Labor Day weekend.

A survey of intended travelers found that 66 percent said their current financial situation would not negatively impact their Labor Day holiday weekend travel plans. Of the remaining 34 percent of travelers who said their current finances would impact their travel plans, 21 percent will economize in other areas, 9 percent are planning to take a shorter trip, and the remaining 4 percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation.

The group of surveyed travelers who indicated their intent to economize in other areas plan to reduce spending on shopping and sightseeing and will stay with friends and relatives instead of reserving a hotel room.

The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, Aug. 30 to Monday, Sept. 3.

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