Scores of travelers are expected to hit the road for the Labor Day holiday weekend, but there are still ways to avoid most of that traffic with some strategic planning.
The busiest days to drive off for a Labor Day trip are expected to be Thursday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Friday (all day, really), according to AAA. The best day to drive will be Sunday when minimal traffic is expected, while travelers hoping to drive on peak days should consider leaving either early in the morning or late in the evening.
“Most travelers will leave on Thursday or Friday before Labor Day to take advantage of the long holiday weekend,” Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement, adding, “We’re also seeing demand for longer stays, especially now when many people have the option to work remotely from their destination.”
Some routes will be busier than others, like traveling from Seattle to Bellingham on I-5 N where travelers can expect the roadway to be 71 percent busier than normal during the peak travel period of Thursday afternoon; or traveling from Los Angeles to Bakersfield on Wednesday late afternoon when I-5 N is expected to be 88 percent busier than normal.
Overall, experts predict a busy Labor Day holiday weekend with domestic bookings up 4 percent compared to last year and international bookings up a whopping 44 percent. That follows a very busy summer during which airfare to Europe was the highest it’s been in at least five years.
In fact, the Transportation Security Administration made history ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend when it screened the most passengers ever in a single day in the agency’s history.
When it comes to domestic trips, travelers are eyeing destinations like Seattle (helped by a strong demand for Alaska cruises), Orlando, Anchorage, New York, and Las Vegas. International travelers are looking to head up to Vancouver for Labor Day as well as fly over to European hotspots like Rome, London, Dublin, and Paris.
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