AAA Forecasts Busy Weekend for Labor Day Travel

About 800,000 D.C. area residents are expected to hit the roads, rails and airports this Labor Day weekend, according to a travel forecast by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Despite quickly rising gas prices — jumping at least 40 cents in the past two months — AAA says this will be the busiest Labor Day weekend in terms of travel since 2008 and the start of the recession. It’s the third summer holiday travel period this year projected to set a post-recession record.

Some 799,900 Washington area residents are expected to travel more than 50 miles for Labor Day, up 3.5 percent from 2011. Of those travelers, 86.8 percent are expected to travel by car, 7.9 percent by air, and 5.3 percent by other means.

AAA is cautioning travelers to check weather forecasts before they leave, however, as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to head north from the Gulf coast

“As they prepare to embark on their Labor Day vacation trips, local residents are urged to stay abreast of local forecasts both at their departure city and at their points of destinations,” said Lon Anderson, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Managing Director of Public and Government Affairs. “While it is challenging to predict the impact that Hurricane Isaac may have on Labor Day travel plans, tropical storms and hurricanes, like this one, typically do not negatively influence travel at the national level.”

“It’s very encouraging that the total number of 2012 Labor Day holiday travelers across the nation and the Washington metro region is expected to reach a new post-recession high,” Anderson continued. “Even more encouraging, this is a travel ‘trifecta’ or the third such increase in holiday travel during this summertime. Clearly, Americans and Washingtonians are trying to put the recession behind them.”

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