Labor Day is tied with Memorial Day as the second biggest summer travel holiday. The 4th of July is the most popular, no wonder. With Labor Day fast approaching, we got the scoop from some of the biggest travel companies on where the most popular holiday destinations will be this year.
Depending on which platform you book, the busiest location will vary. According to data shared with Thrillist by Vacasa, about 25% of American travelers are planning a quick getaway, and most are looking for a seaside destination. The most popular destinations for travelers booking through Vacasa are Ocean City, Maryland, Destin, Florida and Gulf Shores, Alabama.
While Airbnb doesn’t list the same cities as Vacasa, its list of the most popular LDW destinations seems to fit the trend of most people looking to spend the last long weekend of summer somewhere near the water. Here are the most popular destinations, according to Airbnb:
- Columbus, Ohio
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Tampa, Florida
- North Kingstown, Rhode Island
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- San Francisco, California
- Reno, Nevada
- St. Petersburg, Florida
- North Charleston, South Carolina
The popularity of these local sites is correlated with data collected by Squaremouth.com. Travelers who depart for the Labor Day weekend spend about 60% less than trips scheduled for other times of the year. It may be the last hurricane of the summer, but with inflation and a recession looming, most people don’t want to make it the last shame of their bank account either. The average cost of a weekday trip costs about $2,400, according to Squaremouth.
These places listed by Vacasa and Airbnb also make more sense given that they are all quite accessible by road. Squaremouth found that weekend travel bookings are down 30% compared to last year – the cost of gas and the chaos of flying have discouraged many people from going out. Squaremouth noted a 92% increase in travelers seeking Travel Delay cover, meaning people are anticipating travel hiccups from the start of this year.
Regardless of your plans for Labor Day weekend, you can predict that waterfront locations, especially those listed above, will be more popular. But maybe with fewer commuters getting out, you’ll at least be able to deal with less traffic.