Reporting Jim Donovan
By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Have you enjoyed your summer so far? Well we hate to remind you, but there’s not much left.
Labor Day is right around the corner, and if you plan to get away for the long holiday weekend, 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds that you won’t be alone.
According to a new forecast from AAA, 33 million Americans will enjoy a Labor Day weekend getaway at least 50 miles from home. That’s an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. They’ll also spend a little bit more on their long weekends, $749 dollars on average, up from $702 in 2011.
The average trip will be about 626 miles. But about half of travelers will stay a little closer to home, between 100 and 400 miles round-trip. 2.3 million Americans will travel by rail, bus and cruise ship. 2.5 million will take to the skies, thanks to a slight dip in airfares.
The overwhelming majority of travelers will go by car — 85 percent of them, or about 28.2 million. That’s despite the recent uptick in gas prices. Gasoline is still lower than an April peak of $3.94 per gallon, but higher than when AAA did its Labor Day forecasting last August.
Of those looking to trim travel costs, most will skip hotel rooms and stay with family or friends. Others will cut their trip a little shorter or take a less expensive mode of transportation.