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Labor Day travel on an upswing, finds survey

POSTED August 30, 2013 10:36 p.m.

Traveling on Labor Day weekend? Expect some traffic.

 According to a recent survey by AAA insurance, an estimated 3.9 Californians will be hitting the roads this Labor Day weekend, reflecting a six percent increase from last year.

Cynthia Harris, who serves as spokesperson for AAA in Northern California, stated the new zeal for travel is part economic and part opportunistic.

 “This resurgence of travel is partly due to improved consumer confidence, which is at a much higher level than 2012,” said Harris. “Although there are lingering budgetary concerns, Californians will not let this last opportunity to celebrate summer go back without a quick holiday getaway.”

The survey also stated that  four wheels will be the weapon of choice for Labor Day travelers, with more than 3.1 Californians choosing to drive to reach their destinations. In contrast, more than 514,000 Californians are planning to travel by air, representing a 4.4 increase than last year. 

Approximately 300,000 state residents are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, such as rail, bus and watercraft. This represents an increase of 6.1 percent over 2012.

Nationally, AAA projects just over 34 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the Labor Day weekend, representing a 4 percent increase countrywide.

The survey also showed that Californians will be favoring outdoor activities on the long weekend, with activities like  biking, hiking and sightseeing.

Turlock resident Peter Ishaya is one of the nature lovers who will be heading to the great outdoors this weekend.

“I’ve got some cousins from Sweden and Chicago coming in town and we plan on spending the weekend in Yosemite hiking and camping,” said Ishaya.

 Car rental companies are also expecting a boost of 32 percent compared to last year, with a new average daily rate of $51.

Steve Short, spokesperson for Enterprise Rent-A-Cars, stated that those planning on driving to their destinations on the Labor Day weekend are looking for more fuel efficient cars that will save gas, and subsequently, save them from having to use their own vehicles.

“People traveling for the Labor Day holiday are in search of better fuel efficiency or more room, while also looking to save wear and tear on their current daily commuter vehicles,” said Short. “With the average age of today’s cars coming in at more than 11 years, people are renting more dependable cars that provide vacation peace of mind.”

The expenditures for a West Coast family of four are expected to average $622 over the weekend, and the average road trip is predicted to cover 666 miles.

 

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