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      Labor Day Travel Survey & Trends 2023 – 57%+ Intend to Travel (4% More YoY); Best & Worst Days to Travel

      Eric Jones

      The summer travel season will come to an end with Labor Day weekend. Our summer travel survey indicated 5% more people intended to travel this year than last. We saw with our Memorial Day and Fourth of July surveys that the summer survey was right on the money. Travel intentions in both our Memorial Day and Fourth of July travel surveys were up about 5%.

      We conducted this Labor Day travel survey question to see if the summer trend of increase in travel intentions year over year would continue. Read below to find the full results of our survey as well as our analysis.

      Do you intend to travel for Labor Day this year or Labor Day weekend?

      Do You Intend to Travel for Labor Day 2023?

      Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

      Let’s take a look at the survey results:

      • Yes, for a relative or friend’s party. — 21.17%
      • Yes, for a vacation. — 15.42%
      • Yes, for a day trip such as to the beach or lake. — 15.58%
      • Yes, for a different reason. — 4.91%
      • No. — 42.92%

      Key Takeaways:

      • More than 57% of American adults intend to travel for Labor Day or Labor Day weekend this year. The 57.08% with these intentions represent more than 148 million people according to the latest census. This is 4.07% more or over 10.5 million people more than stated intentions to travel for Labor Day in last year’s survey.
      • The most common reason a person will travel will be to attend a relative or friend’s party. The 21.17% that stated these intentions represent nearly 55 million American adults. This tracks with previous summer and Labor Day travel surveys that indicate BBQs or cookouts are the top activities planned by Americans for summer holidays.
      • Travel intentions for day-tripping to the beach or lake remain high for the last summer holiday with 15.58% of American adults stating these plans. The 15.58% that indicated this response represents more than 40 million people. Expect beaches and lakes for Labor Day weekend to be the busiest they have been since before COVID.
      • 15.42%, or another 40 million people, expressed intentions to travel for a vacation on Labor Day or Labor Day weekend. These people have intentions to do a vacation beyond just a day trip or going to a family or friend’s house for a get-together.
      • Nearly 5% of people intend to travel for a different reason for Labor Day this year. The 4.91% that stated they will travel for a different reason than the above for Labor Day weekend represent nearly 13 million people. These people might not be vacationing, but we will still need to contend with them on the roads, at the airports, and on public transportation.
      • Nearly 43% of American adults have no intentions of traveling for Labor Day or Labor Day weekend this year. The 42.92% that said this represents more than 111 million people. It’s possible they will still celebrate Labor Day with a party of their own, but right now they have no intentions of going elsewhere.

      Overall Impression

      As expected, Labor Day weekend and Labor Day travel intentions are up from 2022. While these are only intentions, and plans can always change, we don’t think they will. Travel numbers both on the roads and at airports will almost certainly surpass pre-COVID travel numbers from 2019. Not only does this travel survey indicate this, but TSA’s own checkpoint travel numbers now are regularly outpacing the same days from 2019. Summer travel has been hot all season long with increased travel for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Expect the same for Labor Day.

      Further Reading: How to Find Cheap Summer Flights and How to Find Cheap Flights

      Survey Methodology

      This 2023 Labor Day Travel Survey question was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,020 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on August 8. Of those surveyed, 46.76% were male and 53.24% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 18.76% in the range 18-29, 28.88% in the range 30-44, 37.03% in the range 45-60, and 15.32% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.134%. You can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.

      The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.

      Labor Day 2023 Travel Tips

      Here are a few tips to save on Labor Day travel this year.

      Best & Worst Days to Travel: Avoid Flying on the Busiest Days

      According to historical TSA data, the Friday before Labor Day and Labor Day itself (Monday, September 4, this year) are the busiest days to fly around the holiday. Those days are ideal for many people because it allows you to get away for a few days while missing minimal work. Unfortunately, that means crowded and expensive flights. Here are all the busiest days (based on historical data) that you should avoid if you can for Labor Day 2023

      • Thursday, August 31
      • Friday, September 1
      • Monday, September 4 (Labor Day)

      If possible, fly out the Tuesday or Wednesday before Labor Day and fly home the Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday after.

      Book Direct with the Airline

      While we always recommend booking direct with the airline, it is even more important during a busy travel holiday like Labor Day. Unfortunately, delays and cancellations may be high, so it is crucial you are in the best position to find a new flight if you need to. Booking direct lets you cut out the middleman (third-booking booking agency) and deal directly with the airline for time-sensitive changes.

      Fly Very Early in the Morning

      Even if you found a flight during a traditionally non-busy day to fly around Labor Day, you should still book a flight before 9 a.m. Flights taking off very early are much less likely to be canceled or experience a significant delay than those taking off later in the day. Airports and planes are going to be packed this coming Labor Day weekend, so I recommend flying before the real crowds get there.

      Eric Jones Mediterranean Cruise

      By Eric Jones

      Eric Jones is the co-founder and head of operations of The Vacationer. He uses his background in mathematics as a professor at Rowan College South Jersey to conduct statistical studies and surveys on traveling and vacations. Having traveled to all 50 states and over 30 countries, Eric is well-equipped to recommend travel destinations and new adventures to those seeking lifetime experiences.