Travel | September 1, 2022 1:21 pm

Traveling This Labor Day Weekend? Here’s What You Need to Know.

For the brave, a few facts about this weekend's expected mass movement might help

Heavy Traffic on an LA Freeway
Let there be traffic

Labor Day and, thus, the unofficial end of summer is officially upon us. Let the grilling, sales and travel mayhem ensue.

Mayhem because, according to a study by The Vacationer, roughly 137 million American adults intend to travel for Labor Day this year. Or, rather, more than half the population. And based on how things have been going in the travel world recently, it stands to reason that it’s going to be a doozy of a weekend — but, fortunately for you, you need not go blindly.

A further breakdown of the study showed that more than a third of people, so nearly 92 million Americans, plan to travel via car. Another 37 million people will be flying, which means more Americans will being traveling by plane for Labor Day than on the Fourth of July or Memorial Day.

Luckily, Labor Day is meant to serve as a cap on the nightmare that is air travel in the year 2022. Per a report from CBS News, the Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that 9 out of the 10 major airlines are now guaranteeing meals, and another eight are guaranteeing hotel accommodations, when an airline’s issue causes a delay or cancellation. Further, the department is launching a new tool, which will help travelers whose flights fall into the aforementioned categories.

That said, according to the tracking site FlightAware, as of 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, 1,514 flights had already been delayed within, into, or out of the United States today and another 160 had been cancelled (which is not great, but actually a huge improvement from the week of the Fourth of July). And, as of this writing, only 61 flights had been cancelled for Friday, and 12 for Saturday. Thursday and Friday are expected to be the busiest travel days and, according to Hopper, Las Vegas, Denver and Atlanta will be the most traveled-to destinations.

For those driving, per AAA, the national average gas price will be the highest since 2012, which American adults in the Middle Atlantic region are most likely to be impacted by. Apparently it won’t be enough to deter the masses, however, as nearly 53% of American adults will take a road trip for Labor Day or Labor Day weekend this year. Per a report from USA Today, the ideal times to hit the roads are as follows:

  • Wednesday: Before 12:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: Before 12:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday: Before 1:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: Before 1:00 p.m. or after 5:00 p.m.

And if you haven’t secured accommodations yet? Well, may the odds be in your favor. Hotel rates are still up 34% from 2019 and, per CBS News, many are already at capacity.