Consumer Watch: Labor Day weekend travel

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

(WHAS11) -- It's hard to believe, but Labor Day is just around the corner.   Even with rising gas prices and a sluggish economy, a new survey finds Americans are ready to pack up and go for the long weekend.  Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen has details in Tuesday's Consumer Watch.

With 10 days left until the last major travel holiday of the summer, if you're planning to hit the road, plan accordingly, because it's expected to be a busy one. 

According to a new forecast from AAA, 33 million Americans will enjoy a Labor Day weekend getaway at least 50 miles from home, that's an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.  

Americans are also expected to spend a little bit more on their long weekends to the tune of $749 on average, which is up from $702 in 2011. 

The average trip will be about 626 miles, but almost half of travelers will stay a little closer to home, between 100 and 400 miles round-trip.

2.3 million Americans will travel by rail, bus and cruise ship and 2.5 million will take to the skies, thanks to a slight dip in airfares.

But the overwhelming majority of travelers will go by car, 85 percent of them, or about 28.2 million that's despite the recent uptick in gas prices. Gasoline is still lower than an April peak of $3.94 per gallon, but higher than when AAA did its Labor Day forecasting last August. 

Of those looking to trim travel costs, most will skip hotel rooms and stay with family or friends.  Others will cut their trip a little shorter or take a less expensive mode of transportation. 

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to

consumerwatch@whas11.com

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