Menu More MORE
Roadside... Roadside Assistance

Labor Day Weekend Marks Unofficial End of Summer for Travelers

International trips, cruises and cooler-weather destinations are most popular

Alaska cruise by Tavis Jacobs
Photo copyright Tavis Jacobs/

With summer winding down, many Americans are heading out of town. AAA booking data for flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises show Labor Day weekend travel is up over last year: domestic bookings are up 4% and international bookings are up 44%.

“As summer ends and school begins, many families are taking advantage of Labor Day weekend to head out of town for a few days,” said Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA East Central. “The long holiday weekend provides another opportunity to travel, whether planning a road trip to visit family and friends or deciding to take that dream trip to Canada or even Europe.”

AAA booking data shows Vancouver, Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the five most popular international destinations over Labor Day weekend. Compared to 2022, international hotel bookings for the holiday are up 82% and international cruise bookings are up 44%. Canada is popular this time of year because of its cooler temperatures and stunning scenery. Europe has seen a surge in travel this year, with more people eager to see the world again without restrictions.

The top 5 domestic destinations are Seattle, Orlando, Anchorage, New York and Las Vegas. Seattle tourism has been boosted by the strong demand for Alaska cruises. Florida destinations are popular not only for their beaches and theme parks but also for their cruise ports in Central Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Miami. AAA data show domestic-cruise bookings over Labor Day weekend are up 19% compared to 2022.

Drivers taking road trips this Labor Day weekend will likely see slightly higher gas prices compared to last year. The national average for a gallon of regular was $3.78 on Labor Day 2022 but has been above $3.80 for the past couple of weeks. Gas prices have spiked this summer because of tight supply and the high cost of oil.

Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car

INRIX, a global provider of transportation data and insights, expects Thursday, August 31, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to be the busiest time on the roads during the extended Labor Day weekend. Friday, September 1 is also expected to have higher than normal traffic volumes between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.


Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car


Worst Travel Time

Best Travel Time

Wednesday, Aug 30

12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Before 7:00 AM

Thursday, Aug 31

12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Before 7:00 AM

Friday, Sep 1

11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Before 11:00 AM

Saturday, Sep 2

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

After 6:00 PM

Sunday, Sep 3

Minimal Traffic Impact Expected

Monday, Sep 4

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

After 7:00 PM


More Travelers Interested in Travel Insurance, Extended Vacations

A new survey of AAA travel advisors reveals topics and trends on the minds of travelers this summer:

  • 59% of AAA Travel Advisors have seen more interest in travel insurance over the past 60 days.
  • 83% of AAA Travel Advisors say the most common concern from travelers over the past 60 days was getting stranded by a delayed or canceled flight.
  • 64% of AAA Travel Advisors say travelers who booked extended vacations (at least 14 nights) said having more time to explore destinations was their main reason for taking an extended trip.
  • AAA Travel Advisors are seeing high interest among travelers for ocean and river cruises, plus all-inclusive and guided-tour vacations.  


Survey Methodology

AAA sent surveys to a random sample of AAA Travel Advisors between July 12 and July 26, 2023. AAA received a response from 165 travel advisors. 

About INRIX  

Founded in 2004, INRIX pioneered intelligent mobility solutions by transforming big data from connected devices and vehicles into mobility insights. This revolutionary approach enabled INRIX to become one of the leading providers of data and analytics into how people move. By empowering cities, businesses, and people with valuable insights, INRIX is helping to make the world smarter, safer, and greener. With partners and solutions spanning across the entire mobility ecosystem, INRIX is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation – whether it’s keeping road users safe, improving traffic-signal timing to reduce delay and greenhouse gasses, optimizing last-mile delivery, or helping uncover market insights. Learn more at

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 69 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


CST 1016202-80 Copyright © AAA East Central. All Rights Reserved.
AAA East Central is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.