September 22, 2021

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Just Do Travel

Why Labor Day weekend travel is trickier this year

2 min read

Unlike other national holidays, Labor Day traffic is more up in the air.

The day has become so unpredictable for travel that the American Automobile Association (AAA) has not created a formal travel forecast for it in “many years,” according to the motor club organization.

“The Labor Day holiday of years ago has changed, especially with so many schools starting earlier now,” a spokesperson for AAA told FOX News.

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Travelers who wish to take a final road trip while they celebrate the unofficial end of summer would benefit from planning their driving schedules like a standard three-day weekend, according to AAA.

AAA told FOX News that Labor Day travel trends have changed in recent years due to schools opening earlier throughout the U.S.

AAA told FOX News that Labor Day travel trends have changed in recent years due to schools opening earlier throughout the U.S.
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“In that case, we can say that Thursday and Friday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. will probably be the busiest times on the roads for most travelers, as holiday getaway traffic mingles with commuter traffic around many metropolitan areas,” AAA wrote, in a statement. “This summer has been a very robust one for travel, especially by car and we do not expect that to change very much.”

Returning home the day after Labor Day – Tuesday, Sept. 7 – could mean heavy traffic as well.

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AAA also went on to suggest that Labor Day travelers research the location they’re driving to in order to learn the impact the coronavirus is having on their desired destination. Some cities or states might have restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization noted. 

“AAA urges all travelers to follow CDC guidelines and pack a mask and their patience,” the motor club shared.

AAA said Labor Day drivers should research their desired destination before they hit the road because the COVID-19 pandemic or inclement weather could play a part in their vacation. 

AAA said Labor Day drivers should research their desired destination before they hit the road because the COVID-19 pandemic or inclement weather could play a part in their vacation. 
(iStock)

Besides coronavirus concerns, AAA recommends Labor Day drivers to look into current weather forecasts before they hit the road, especially if their original plans involved visiting an area where recent hurricanes passed through.

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“Regionally, travel around Louisiana and Mississippi may still be suffering the after-effects of Hurricane Ida. Still, we won’t know more until the damage can be fully assessed in a few days,” AAA wrote. “We will likely see some impact in terms of gas prices, but how much remains to be determined once the storm clears and floodwaters recede.”

AAA went on, “However, in past years, higher gasoline prices have not deterred folks from taking a vacation. Instead, they figure out a way to factor in higher prices by saving money elsewhere in their travel budget.”

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Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September each year.