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According to AAA, this upcoming Labor Day weekend should show that in a post-recession economy, Americans are getting back on the road. It's estimated that 33 million people will hop in their family sedans or rental cars and travel 50 or more miles from their homes, up 2.9% from last year.
If these projections hold true from Thursday, August 30, to Monday, September 3, it will be the biggest Labor Day weekend since 2008, when the recession caused the number of travelers over the holiday to drop dramatically.
A modest 1.2% increase was recorded for Memorial Day 2012, and an impressive Independence Day boasted 4.9% more travelers hitting the road this year. The vice president of AAA Travel Services comments, "...it is an encouraging sign that Americans continue to prioritize travel," with regard to the optimistic statistics the company has collected.
Car rental company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has made a statement pointing out another hopeful indicator of Americans' overall travel outlook. Rental car bookings for Labor Day weekend are up a full 25% over last year. With about 85% of travelers setting off by car, it will be a hectic few days for them and other top car rental agencies. The increase in automobile travel is projected to be 3.1%.
Though gas is still hovering around 14 cents above last summer's average, and about 35.5 million Americans will need to travel over Labor Day to match pre-recession averages, we seem to be moving in the right direction.