As the last long weekend of summer, Labor Day marks the final chance for travelers to take a vacation before the weather starts to cool. For those in the know, there are ways to beat the crowds this holiday weekend and save some money in the process.
While domestic airfares are up 6.6% this year at an average of $343 for a round-trip flight, travelers who have some flexibility can save.
Based on Travelocity’s Best Days to Fly data, deal-hungry travelers should consider departing on Saturday, Aug. 30th rather than the Friday before Labor Day. Combined with a return trip on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, travelers can save nearly 15% versus a traditional Friday departure and Monday return.
“By adding an extra vacation day or two, travelers can enjoy better deals not to mention shorter lines at the airport,” says Courtney Scott, senior editor at Travelocity.
Beating the Crowds
Many schools are already back in session by the time the Labor Day holiday arrives, making popular destinations like Orlando an ideal place to beat the crowds.
This Labor Day weekend, Orlando ranks as the 12th most popular air destination on Travelocity.com, compared to the third most popular destination for the July 4th weekend. That translates to shorter lines and more bang for the vacation dollar.
Scott also recommends ski destinations as ideal places to beat the crowds.
“High-end resort towns like Vail offer luxurious accommodations and amenities for about one-third of what you would pay during peak ski season,” said Scott. “Mountain towns are a paradise for outdoors lovers who can take advantage of hiking, golfing, fishing and rafting adventures.”
Travel Momentum for Washington and…Washington
Compared to 2013, the biggest movers up the top ten Labor Day destinations are on opposite coasts, but share a common name.
These increasingly popular travel destinations are Washington, DC (moving from No. 10 to No. 7) and Seattle, Washington (moving from No. 4 to No. 2).
The full top ten most popular Labor Day destinations – based on airfare bookings – are as follows:
|Average RT Airfare**||Average Daily Hotel Rate|
|1. New York City||$323.97||$267.15|
|3. Los Angeles||$317.87||$180.68|
|4. San Francisco||$342.50||$213.81|
|7. Washington, D.C.||$292.13||$160.20|
|8. South Florida||$309.56||$157.77|
|10. Las Vegas||$343.32||$128.56|