Labor Day Spend Up Despite Cheaper Travel Costs

Labor Day

US consumers may have spent less on gasoline this weekend thanks to the tumbling prices at the pump across the nation, but overall, Labor Day weekend spending was expected to be higher than last year. The US Travel Association predicted travelers would spend an average of $380 each. Overall US travel spending during the holiday weekend is forecasted at $13.5 billion – up 2% from last year.

Those hitting the road were expected to spend an average of $270 on their trip, up 0.5% from last year. The average cost of the weekend to air travelers came in at $1,090 – up 4.9% from last year, according to US Travel’s report.

Despite the hike in overall spending projections, an estimated 35.5 million Americans were expected to travel at least 50 miles this weekend, up 1% from 2014. That’s the highest number of travelers for the weekend since 2008. Low gas prices, better labor market conditions and higher incomes are contributing to the number of travelers this weekend.

Gas Prices Below $2.50 a Gallon

AAA said the national price of a gallon of gas would be $2.44 this weekend – $1 less than the same weekend last year. It’s also the lowest Labor Day gas average price since 2004. The lower gas prices mean more than $1 billion will be saved on fuel this weekend compared with last year, according to AAA.

Cheaper Airfare

Those who avoided the congested highways this weekend and traveled by air also likely saved some money. Labor Day weekend flights were down 14% this year. Cheaper flight tickets are expected to stick around, too. Prices for a flight are forecasted to drop 9% this fall.

Deals Close to Home

Americans choosing to stay closer to home this weekend also have the opportunity to score some deals. A number of companies are offering major sales over the weekend, from Best Buy having a 50%-off appliances sale through Sept. 12 to Staples offering back-to-school sales on laptops and other supplies. Also be on the lookout for clothing and car sales.

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