35.5 Million Hitting the Road this Weekend
Lots of folks are planning on travelling this Labor Day Weekend, 35.5 million nationally, and around 2 million people here in the Land of Lincoln, according to a AAA survey. That's up almost 1% from last year, and up .8% in Illinois.
Some details, courtesy of AAA:
While the majority of travelers (30.4 million, 86 percent of all travelers) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close, air travel is also projected to grow 1.5 percent this holiday. Over 2.6 million travelers are expected to travel by air, making this the largest volume of air travel since 2007 for this holiday period. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 3 to Monday, September 7.
In Illinois, 1.9 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a .8 percent increase from 2014. Of those travelers, just over 1.7 million will be driving (a .7 percent increase compared with 2014) and just over 72,000 will be flying to their destination (a 3.1 percent increase from 2014). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.98, down significantly from $3.52 in 2014.
In Indiana, just over 816,000 people are expected to travel, which is a 1.4 percent increase from 2014. Of those, 725,000 are expected to travel by auto (1.3 percent increase) and about 31,000 by air (3.8 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.73 per gallon, down from $3.44 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.58.
It looks like gas prices are working in our favor, too:
Despite recent price spikes in the Midwest gas prices, travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower prices compared to recent years. Drivers in Illinois and Indiana will pay the lowest gas prices since 2010. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.57, $.86 cents less than the average price from a year ago; this is the lowest U.S. average since 2009. Drivers can use the AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices close to home and along the way to their holiday destinations. Travelers can also plan routes and fun stops for the whole family at AAA.com using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner; members can save and share customized routes for use on a smartphone, tablet or with the AAA Mobile app.
However, you may be paying less for a flight, but more for your lodging:
According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates are expected to average higher this Labor Day holiday, while the cost of a flight is slightly lower.
AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to be the highest in five years, increasing 2 percent from one year ago, with travelers spending an average of $175 compared to $171.
The average rate for Two Diamond properties increased 10% from Labor Day 2014. Year-to-date through August, the average rate for Two Diamond hotels has increased 9%. The $138 average is 13 cents higher than last year, and the highest for this holiday in the past five years.
Airfares are down 1 percent, with the average round-trip discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $216, down from $219 last year.