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25 Labor Day Travel Statistics and Facts

25 Labor Day Travel Statistics and Facts

Labor Day is celebrated in the US on the first Monday of every September. This federal holiday is aimed at celebrating the many achievements of laborers, and it enables plenty of travel as everyone tries to make the most of the long weekend.

With substantial travel occurring around Labor Day, especially as it marks the end of summer travels, it is no surprise that there is plenty of data to analyze. Let’s take a look at the most exciting statistics and facts about Labor Day travel.

Labor Day Travel Stats Highlights

Labor Day travel occurs over the weekend that precedes it and until the day is done. While it is a short period, it still sees plenty of movement, from those traveling to different cities to those seeking the last beach vacations of the year. Here’s an overview of the essential stats to know about Labor Day travel:

  • Americans travel more by plane on Labor Day than on the 4th of July: 21% of Americans choose to travel by plane for this holiday.
  • 53% of Americans travel on Labor Day weekend.
  • 76 million nights at hotels and other rented accommodations were booked over Labor Day weekend.
  • 4 billion trips were taken over Labor Day weekend in 2019.

Labor Day Travel Holiday Makers Stats

Those who celebrate Labor Day create the statistics that shed light on the movement involved during the holiday. Let’s take a look at the most impressive stats related to the holidaymakers.

More Men Intend To Travel for Labor Day

(Source: The Vacationer)

When it comes to traveling for Labor Day weekend, it turns out men are more likely to embark on a trip during this time than women. 56.26% of men have stated they want to travel during the Labor Day holiday, while only 50.09% of women said the same. Both genders seem likely to travel during this time, but men are ahead in this particular race.

Young Generations Travel More for Labor Day

(Source: The Vacationer)

Of those traveling for labor day, the older generations are the least likely to go on a trip at this time. Most adults traveling for Labor Day are between 30 and 44 years old, with 59.85% of those in that age range going on holiday.

The 18 to 29-year-olds follow right behind, with 59.51% choosing to take a trip during the weekend. The 40 and 60-year-olds are also well represented, with 55.87% stating they are likely to travel. In comparison, only 32.4% of those over 60 are likely to travel for Labor Day.

Most People Travel by Car for Labor Day

(Source: The Vacationer)

The preferred mode of transport for Labor Day is the car. 35.5% of those traveling during Labor Day choose a car as their primary transport. 14.2% of them decide to travel by plane, while only 3.28% choose buses or trains to get to their preferred Labor Day destinations.

Almost Half of Americans Did Not Travel for Labor Day

(Source: The Vacationer)

In 2022, 46.9% of Americans did not want to travel for Labor Day. That still means over 137 million went on a trip during Labor Day weekend, from Thursday to Monday.

While many choose to remain at home, 53% of Americans moved from one part of the country to another during Labor Day weekend in 2022.

Most People Did Not Go on Labor Day Road Trips

(Source: The Vacationer)

47.2% of Americans did not go on a Labor Day road trip during the holiday weekend in 2022. 26.05% of Americans took a road trip within 100 miles of their home, while 13.4% went on longer road trips of up to 250 miles.

7.8% went on road trips within 500 miles of their homes, and 2.64% traveled within 1000 miles of their homes. This doesn’t indicate that people aren’t moving around, but that they prefer short distances during this holiday.

Labor Day Travel Influencing Factors Stats

There are several things that have an influence on whether people travel for Labor Day and on how they do it. Here’s a quick overview of the numbers related to the influencing factors on Labor Day travel.

Gas Prices Influence Labor Day Travel

(Source: The Vacationer)

While gas prices have gone down, the surge in them affected Labor Day travel in 2022. 33.3% of people stated that the high gas prices affected their Labor Day travel plans because they wanted to drive.

49.8% of people said they weren’t affected by gas prices, while 16.8% said they were only affected by gas prices because they had an effect on air travel.

The Middle Atlantic Area Was Most Affected by Labor Day Gas Prices

(Source: The Vacationer)

While the high prices affected most regions in the US during Labor Day weekend in 2022, some saw worse prices than others. 58.79% of respondents in the Middle Atlantic region, encompassing states like New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, said their travel plans for Labor Day were affected by gas prices.

The West North Central region, which includes South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa, among others, was the least affected by the surge in gas prices. 31.58% of respondents living in the region said the gas prices influenced their Labor Day travel plans.

Labor Day Travel Flight Insurance Purchases Went Up

(Source: Squaremouth)

Labor Day travel in 2022 saw a surge in searches for flight insurance covering delays. Studies reported a 92% increase in ‘travel delay’ types of insurance, while ‘cancel for any reason’ covers were searched at a rise of 24%.

This shows that travelers saw an increase in flight delays and wanted to feel protected during their Labor Day weekend travel plans.

People Are Spending Less on Labor Day Travel

(Source: Squaremouth)

In 2022, those traveling for Labor Day weekend were spending 60% less on this holiday than they were on other scheduled holidays throughout the year. On average, each holiday trip costs American adults around $2,400.

The Pandemic Is No Longer Affecting Labor Day Travel

(Source: Squaremouth)

By the time Labor Day came around in 2022, the figures had rebounded to pre-pandemic levels after the dip in celebrations during 2020 and 2021.

12.6 million travelers were expected to go on Labor Day trips around the country by plane throughout the holiday weekend in 2022, which showed an increase of 22% when compared to 2019. This happened despite airline prices being 20% higher than in 2021, thanks to gas prices.

General Labor Day Travel Stats

With the Labor Day weekend being such an event on the holiday calendar in North America, it is unsurprising that there is so much data to analyze when it comes to this time period. Let’s take a look at more general Labor Day travel stats.

Most Gatherings Are Between 5-8 People

(Source: Statista)

36% of Labor Day weekend gatherings include between 5 and 8 people. 23% are gatherings of 9 to 12 people, while 16% are between 13 and 16 people, and 13% are between 1 and 4. Only 10% of Labor Day gatherings are between 17 and 20 people, and only 2% are over 20 people.

This shows that Labor Day events tend to be on the smaller size while still including a significant group of people.

International Flight Bookings During Labor Day Are Up

(Source: AAA)

Over the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2022, flight bookings to international locations increased by 14% when compared with pre-pandemic figures. This shows that people returned to taking advantage of having several days off in a row by traveling outside the country for a holiday.

More People Stayed at Home Over the Holiday Weekend in 2020

(Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

As expected, the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2020 saw some changes when compared to 2019. 26.3% of respondents stated they would stay home over the 5-day Labor Day weekend in 2020, while only 19.3% of people said the same in 2019.

Those living in DC and NYC were the most likely to stay at home during Labor Day weekend in 2020.

Travel Spending Is Increasing

(Source: Adobe Analytics)

In 2022, travel spending during the Labor Day holiday weekend increased by 17% when compared to 2019 levels. This shows that people are still considering travel during this time necessary, and they are spending more despite the increase in prices due to the fluctuating gas prices.

There Were Millions of TSA Screenings

(Source: TSA)

Over the Labor Day weekend in 2022, there were approximately 8.76 million TSA screenings performed in airports across the country. This showed an increase from the holiday weekend in 2019 when screenings capped at 8.6 million. This fact continues to highlight the increased plane travel and the movement around the country during this period of time.

Labor Day Travel Destinations Stats

Most people approach Labor Day travel in varied ways, but there are some destinations that take precedence every year.

Most People Opt for Quick Getaways

(Source: Vacasa)

25% of US travelers prefer going on quick getaways when traveling for the Labor Day holiday. This shows that travelers tend to use their time off to their advantage by traveling somewhere they can reach in less time, so they don’t spend too much of the holiday on the road.

Columbus Is the Top Airbnb Destination

(Source: AirBnB)

According to AirBnB, the top destination for the Labor Day holiday weekend is Columbus, Ohio. On average, there are 113 nights booked in Columbus, with 82.6% of bookings going on entire homes or apartments rather than private or shared rooms.

Raleigh, North Carolina, is next on the list, with Tampa, Florida, and North Kingstown in Rhode Island followed.

Ocean City Is the Top Vacasa Destination

(Source: Vacasa)

Of the 25% of Americans booking a holiday away for Labor Day, many of them opted for the wonders of Ocean City in Maryland. This beach getaway was very appealing to those booking Labor Day holidays through the Vacasa platform.

Destin, Florida, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, followed in the wake of Ocean City, along with Gulf Shores, in Alabama. This shows that those traveling away from home for the Labor Day holiday weekend are looking to make the most out of getting one last beach holiday for the year.

Weekend Travel Bookings Are Down by 30%

(Source: Squaremouth)

While Labor Day weekend travelers are still traveling for the holiday, bookings have gone down by 30%. The cost of gas and the ongoing flight delays caused some reticence for some travelers, and bookings for hotels and other accommodations were slightly affected as a result.

Despite this, Labor Day continues to tie with Memorial Day as one of the biggest summer holidays for travel.

Airbnb Hosts’ Earnings Increased

(Source: AirBnB)

Over the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2021, AirBnB hosts reported more than $300 million combined across the 5 days, with an average host payout of $750 extra from the Labor Day weekend stays.

This shows that the Labor Day holiday continues to be a profitable one for those offering accommodation across the country, with many travelers opting for a stay in private accommodation.

Labor Day Travel Flight Statistics

Flight delays have caused some of the havoc that usually affects Labor Day weekend plans. This shows that plane travel has a direct impact on Labor Day weekend trips, so let’s see how this manifests in the data.

Flight Cancellations Are Down

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

In 2022, flight cancellations during Labor Day weekend went down in comparison to 2021. From August to September, over 4,900 flights across the US were canceled, which amounts to about 1.8% of the total flights scheduled for that time period. In that same timeframe, over 56,700 flights were delayed.

Millions Chose United Airlines for Labor Day Travel

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

United Airlines Holdings reported that over 2.6 million people traveled with them over the Labor Day weekend in 2022. According to the airline’s inner data, this matched their pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The Average Domestic Airfare Was Higher

(Source: AAA)

For Labor Day weekend in 2022, the average domestic airfare cost $278. This was 23% higher than in 2021 and 20% higher than in 2019 before the pandemic hit.

These high prices did affect some plans during the holiday weekend, but these prices were lower than those over the peak summer season. This allowed many people to enjoy a beach vacation for less.

Tickets to Orlando or Atlanta Are More Affordable

(Source: Heritage)

Those looking for last-minute tickets during Labor Day weekend in 2022 got lucky if opting for destinations like Orlando or Atlanta. Tickets to these cities averaged under $250 for the round-trip, which appealed to many travelers who weren’t choosing a car as their primary method of transportation.

Of those traveling to these cities, many went slightly beyond them to find the best hotel deals during the Labor Day weekend in places like Tempe or Kissimmee.

Over 2 Million People Traveled Every Day of the Weekend

(Source: Hopper)

On average, over the 5-day weekend of Labor Day in 2022, 2.6 million departed each day from airports across the United States. The busiest day for air travel was the Friday of the weekend, but airports remained at peak staffing for the duration of the holiday. The busiest airports in the United States over Labor Day weekend were Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Denver.


How Many People Flew Between the Thursday and Monday of Labor Day?

Over the Labor Day weekend, more than 12.7 million people were expected to fly. Of these, 1.8 million intended to go to destinations outside the country. International bookings during that time increased by 104% from 2020 to 2021, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions starting to ease around the world.

Are Hotels More Expensive During Labor Day Weekend?

On average, prices for domestic hotels went up by 32% during Labor Day weekend in 2022. This price surge is in comparison to 2019 levels, but there was also an increase of 6% between 2021 and 2022. Travelers took this price surge into account, with many opting for other accommodation choices, such as AirBnB. While people reacted to this price surge and adapted to it, many were expecting to pay more during the holiday weekend.

Did Short-term Rentals Increase?

Over Labor Day weekend in 2022, short-term rental bookings increased by 16% on platforms such as AirBnB and Vrbo. These figures were taken in comparison to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and show the impact of the surge in hotel prices and other such factors on the holiday planning.

Final Thoughts

Labor Day travel has recovered after the low figures during the pandemic. In 2022, it registered new records in terms of bookings and traveling, even as almost half of Americans chose to stay home or close to home during the 5-day weekend. The data shows that there is plenty of interesting analysis to be done.

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