By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, and many of us will be hitting the roads to enjoy one last long weekend of fun in the sun.
3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan takes a look at the numbers.
Nationally, 34.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day weekend. That’s up a little more than four percent from last year.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says close to 460,000 of those travelers will be from our area.
“More than half the people responding to our survey in the Philadelphia area say they plan to visit a beach or waterfront. This is actually a bigger percentage than we saw for Memorial Day or for July 4th — usually those are very big beach weekends,” says Jenny Robinson, with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Eighty-five percent of American travelers plan to drive to their destination this weekend. Eight percent, or about 2.6 million, will fly.
The remaining seven percent are expected to travel by rail, bus, boat or ship.
The average traveler is expected to travel a round-trip distance of 594 miles — down 32 miles from last year — and they’ll spend $804, up from $749 last year.
Forty-six percent of travelers will leave on Friday, with Monday being the most popular day for returns — 43 percent will come back then.
“If you are traveling on those days, and especially if you’re traveling during those peak times, probably Friday afternoon and Monday evening coming back, you’re going to sit in a lot of traffic,” said Robinson.
And while we’re looking at the numbers, the average airfare for the top 40 U.S. routes is just around $214. The average hotel will cost $161 per night.
For more info on AAA, visit: www.aaa.com