Record Number of New Jerseyans Expected to Travel Over Labor Day Weekend
Travel in New Jersey is projected to reach a post-recession high over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
According to AAA New Jersey, more than one million New Jersey residents plan to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, up nearly five percent over 2012's numbers.
"This really is a good sign that people are comfortable with where they are, and comfortable with taking vacations, and getting back out there and traveling," said Cathleen Lewis, regional director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for AAA New Jersey Automobile Club.
Overall, 886,120 New Jersey residents plan to travel by car, an increase of five percent from last year. Nationally, 29 million people plan to travel by car. Air travel is also projected to rise, with 89,655 expected to fly, a three percent increase from 2012.
Unlike in previous years, gas prices are unlikely to be a major factor for people determining whether they will travel this Labor Day. The current average price for a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey is $3.45, 20 cents lower than last year.
"We have seen some strange things in gas prices this year. We really peaked back in February, and we never see peaks that early. We're all used to the traditional peaks during summer travel season and then the holidays. And really that's not the way the market is working anymore. Prices have stayed low so people are comfortable and confident that they can take that road trip," said Lewis.
Fifty-three percent of New Jerseyans are projected to travel to the shore according to the survey.
"In a poll conducted prior to Memorial Day, 50 percent of New Jersey residents polled planed on making an effort to visit shore towns impacted by Sandy to increase tourism and support local business. We are pleased that the trend has continued to Labor Day," said Tracy Noble, a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The close of the summer season also continues a trend of New Jerseyans traveling at a higher rate than the nation and the region.