AAA: More People Expected to Travel Labor Day Weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AAA: More People Expected to Travel Labor Day Weekend

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BELLEVUE, Wash. - AAA says more than 34 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

That's more than 4% higher than the 32.7 million people who traveled that far last year. The company says the anticipated increase is predominantly due to increased consumer confidence and spending.

The total number of travelers between Thursday, August 29th and Monday, September 2nd is expected to reach a new post-recession high.

AAA says more than 29 million travelers will drive, and more than 2.5 million plan to fly. The remaining seven percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft. The company expects the largest share of travelers, 46%, to leave on Friday; 43% plan to return on Monday. 

Travel experts say the average person will spend about $800 and travel nearly 600 miles.  Travelers expect to spend 24% of their budgets on transportation and lodging, and 21% on food and beverages. 

AAA says gas prices are unlikely to be a major factor for people in determining whether they will travel this Labor Day. Nationally, prices are slightly down from this time last year. The national average is down 19 cents from one year ago.

Locally, gas prices are down considerably compared to this time last year. In Washington, the average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.81 per gallon, down 17 cents compared to last year and down 13 cents in the past month.