STATE – More than 1 million New Jersey residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home for the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2012; an increase of 1.9% compared to the 983,400 who traveled in 2011, AAA Mid-Atlantic projects. The 2012 Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, Aug. 30 to Monday, Sept. 3.
Despite a sluggish economy and recent rises in gas prices, the increase in expected Labor Day holiday weekend travelers is driven by improving consumer confidence compared to one year ago and American’s unwavering desire to travel. However, Tropical Storm Isaac could add a wrinkle to travel plans for some.
Isaac is already impacting travel, disrupting flights and cruises in the Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled in Florida, and cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises have changed some itineraries due to Isaac. AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds travelers to check with their agents and to get travel insurance.
“For many people, Labor Day weekend is one last opportunity to get away before returning to regular work and school schedules”, said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Whether or not the elements of Tropical Storm Isaac will impact travel in our area is yet to be seen, however, we know the increase in gas prices (almost 20 cents in the past month) is likely to keep some closer to home.”
Regardless of fuel prices, travel by automobile continues to be the most popular mode of transportation for Labor Day holiday travelers, with 84% of New Jerseyans (or 840,300) reaching their destination by driving, an increase of 2.1% from last Labor Day.