AAA Mid-Atlantic is projecting more Marylanders will get out of town for the extended Labor Day weekend than any year since 2009.
A projected 678,000 Marylanders will travel from Thursday to Monday, a three percent increase from 2012. The projections, based on a AAA Mid-Atlantic survey, also suggest more people are planning longer trips.
Fifty-six percent surveyed said they plan to travel between 50 and 400 miles round-trip, compared to 43 percent in 2012 while 30 percent said they will travel between 701 and 1,500 miles round-trip. That number last year was 15 percent.
The auto club says most people in the area scaled back travel plans for Memorial Day and July 4.
“While the overall financial picture remains mixed, economic indicators have improved from last year and have been trending upward during 2013,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Ragina Averella. “As a result, there appears to be pent-up demand by Marylanders to get away for the last summer holiday as many stayed put for the first two major summer holidays.”
Most of that demand isn’t coming from families, but rather from those who plan to travel alone or with one other adult. Fifty-five percent said they plan to travel that way, while only 27 percent said they plan to travel with family, an unsurprising finding since kids are back in school.
That’s been a topic in the news recently. State Comptroller Peter Franchot began a push to move the start date for public schools in Maryland back to after Labor Day. Franchot argued it would provide a $75 million economic boost to the state, mostly in the form of vacation spending.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says median spending of those surveyed will be around $946, 14 percent more than last year.