More travelers expected to hit the road this Labor Day weekend

This is going to add up. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON – Area roads are likely to be busy over the long Labor Day weekend as local residents head out of town.

AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts 811,500 people in the Washington metro area will travel more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend.

The number of travelers would be a 2.6 percent increase over last Labor Day weekend and the biggest number of Labor Day travelers since the start of the recession four years ago.

For most, this will be a road trip. AAA says nine out of 10 vacationers will travel by car. And they will find that gas prices here and around the nation are lower than this time last year.

Pent up demand could be driving the jump in Labor Day weekend travel. The number of area residents who traveled during the first two major holidays of the summer, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, actually declined.

But AAA says the anticipated increased in Labor Day travel is more a result of economic factors, and is related to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market.

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