COLUMBUS – AAA predicts 35.3 million Americans, including more than 1.5 million Ohioans, will travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday Sept. 3 and Monday Sept. 7. This is an increase of 1 percent nationwide and 1.8 percent for Ohio from Labor Day 2014 and marks the highest number of travelers since 2008.
Reasons for the Increase
Rising wages and lower gas prices continue to help boost disposable income and provide more money for travel. Although Ohioans experienced a gas price spike in the middle of August, the state average between Aug. 1 and Aug. 21 remained 87 cents a gallon below what Ohioans were paying during the same time last year.
Modes of Transportation:
Auto Travel: Nearly 86 percent of American travelers (88 percent of Ohio travelers) will drive to their destinations this Labor Day.
Air Travel: AAA expects the highest volume of air travel since 2007 with 2.64 million Americans, including 57,000 Ohioans, traveling by air this holiday. This is a 1.5 percent increase nationwide and 4.2 percent increase for Ohio over last year.
Other Modes of Transportation: Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruise, train and buses, is expected to decrease 0.2 percent nationally to 2.4 million travelers and increase 1.7 percent in Ohio to 110,000 travelers.
Ohio Traveler Snapshot:
Based on AAA Ohio travel booking data, Ohio travelers will be taking longer, more expensive trips this year. The average trip duration will increase about 20 percent to 5.3 days, and Ohio travelers will spend about 40 percent more than in 2014.
AAA Ohio Auto Club has recorded a 9 percent increase in booked trips over last year. This disproportionate increase to the overall state travel volume is likely due to the number of central Ohioans traveling to Blacksburg, Va. to see the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Virginia Tech Hokies on Monday, Sept. 7. Many will travel by car or motorcoach to this game.
Other popular Labor Day travel destinations for Ohio travelers include in-state getaways to locations such as Hocking Hills, Amish Country and Lake Erie Shores and Islands, along with out-of-state vacations to:
- Orlando, FL
- New York, NY
- Las Vegas, NV
- Nashville, TN
In addition, AAA Ohio Auto Club records a 50 percent increase in Labor Day weekend bookings to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean (specifically Cancun, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic) over 2014. However, trip duration to these locations is down from an average of 7.6 days in 2014 to 5.8 days in 2015.
Other Ohio travelers will be traveling abroad over Labor Day to locations such as Hungary, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. European river cruises are seeing a surge in popularity this Labor Day over last year.
Holiday Forecast Methodology
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.