On this Labor Day weekend, millions of Americans prepare to take their final summer trips, even in the middle of it the pandemic.
In spite of Travel restrictions and health concerns, Americans have found ways to still take it summer holidays this year. In fact, AAA has forecast that US travelers will have made approximately 700 million trips by the end of Labor Day Weekend this summer. The final vacation weekend of the season is also expected to see a surge in travelers: 62 percent of Americans say they plan to travel over Labor Day current survey through improved points.
Unsurprisingly, most travelers get there domestic destinations for the long weekend. According to Airbnb, locations in smaller cities or remote areas are the most popular for 2020. The data shows that booking rates for such locations have doubled this year. Top trending destinations for bookings include Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Big Bear Lake, California; Lake Havasu City, Arizona; and Charleston, South Carolina.
However, some U.S. travelers are planning more distant Labor Day trips Metasearch site Kayak. Places like Cancun and Puerto Rico Kayaks data shows that travelers have higher sustained interest and flight searches. Destinations that partially lift travel restrictions, such as Costa Rica, are also very popular with potential travelers. The Latin American nation recently announced that it would open its borders to Americans from nine states with low infection rates. “The flight search from these states to Costa Rica has doubled in the last 15 days compared to the same period last year, which indicates a pent-up demand from American tourists who want to make up for their missed summer vacation,” says Kayak.
While searches for specific flights may be spike, the bulk of Labor Day travelers appear to be doing so Car trips in the head. According to travel data firm Arrivalist, 42.5 million Americans will be traveling by road on the vacation weekend. That’s a drop of just more than five percent from last year, the company says. “Americans continue to seek calm on the streets,” Arrivalist founder and CEO Cree Lawson said in a statement. “These latest forecasts are a promising sign for the travel industry.” Travelers are also gravitating towards less traditional modes of transport during the pandemic. Rental platform RV share says rental rates rose 95 percent over the long weekend.
While the TSA hasn’t released its usual predictions for vacation flyers, airports across the country are likely to see an increase in passengers. The number of daily passengers increased during both Memorial Day Weekend (with a high of 348,673 daily leaflets) and Fourth of July (a high of 764,761 leaflets a day) so Labor Day numbers are likely to rise too. In the second half of the summer, the number of daily passengers increased significantly. The number of weekend flyers averages 800,000 passengers flying on Saturdays and Sundays. Usually these numbers decline after Labor Day, the end of the summer peak season, but given the pandemic, analysts aren’t entirely sure what to expect from the flight numbers moving into fall. As Helane Becker of Cowen Investment Bank recently put it in a memo: “Traditional seasonal patterns are irrelevant during COVID-19.”
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