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Labor Day road trips to increase

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

It seems like more Americans are ready to get out of town for one last summer car road trip this weekend than in recent years. AAA Travel projects that 34.7 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, the highest volume since before the 2008 recession. Of that number, 29.7 million Americans will enjoy their vacations by getting behind the wheel of their cars, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year.

© Amy Tseng/

While gas prices are at the lowest they have been at this time of year since 2010, hotel costs are higher. Hotel rates at AAA Two Diamond hotels are 9 percent more than last year, while Three Diamond properties are 6 percent higher.

AAA also says that consumer spending is rising at a rate faster than disposable income growth, indicating that more consumers will finance their car road trips using credit cards.

"This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney.  "Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year."

Interestingly, when Labor Day weekend begins in August, Americans are more likely to hit the road in their cars over the holiday.

Before you hit the road, check out these 6 car checks before a holiday road trip.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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