Labor Day Tips for Easier, Cheaper Travel

Physician’s Money Digest

Labor day trips

Image courtesy Physician’s Money Digest

The last rite of summer will soon be here: the Labor Day getaway.  Some 15.6 million passengers – an increase of 4% over last year – will fly on US airlines between August 31 and September 6, according to predictions by Airlines for America, a trade association for major US carriers. That translates to 2.3 million air travelers per day for the holiday, an increase of 82,000 more passengers daily.

Expect waits to check-in and lines at security checkpoints. Flexibility can save you from some of the throngs. If you can, avoid flying on Friday, September 2, when airports are expected to be most crowded. Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1 are likely to be less busy days at the airport, according to Expedia.com, the online planning and booking site.

Airports to Avoid

Based on the number of flights per day, Expedia suggests flyers, if possible, avoid these ten busiest US airports:

1.  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport
2.  Los Angeles International Airport
3.  Chicago O’Hare International Airport
4.  John F. Kennedy International Airport
5.  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
6.  San Francisco International Airport
7.  Denver International Airport
8.  Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
9.  McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas
10.  Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte

Deals

“The best way to save on travel this Labor Day is to book a package,” says John Morrey, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. “…Also, try to be flexible with your travel dates. Heading out a day or two earlier may make a big difference.”

Interestingly, people who plan ahead can be penalized by paying more for their lodgings. Those who wait to reserve hotel rooms within three days of their departure often saved between 20% to 30% in certain markets versus those who booked rooms more than seven days in advance.

Money, however, may not be everything. Peace of mind counts too. However, if you can forgo the assurance of knowing that you have the room you want in the destination you desire, then consider Expedia’s suggestions of locales likely to have last-minute Labor Day savings:

1.  Phoenix: The average daily rates (ADR) for hotel rooms dropped by nearly 30% when booked within 3 days of travel versus more than a week before travel
2.  Austin: Hotel rates dropped by nearly 30%
3.  New Orleans: Hotel rates dropped 25%
4.  Detroit: Hotel rates dropped more than 20%
5.  Cape Cod: Hotel rates dropped more than 20%
6.  Chicago: Hotel rates dropped more than 20%
7.  Dallas: Hotel rates dropped by 20%
8.  Mexico’s Riviera Maya: Hotel rates dropped by nearly 20%
9.  Fort Lauderdale: Hotel rates dropped almost 20%
10.  Orlando: Hotel rates dropped almost 20%

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