AAA Holiday Travel Predictions; Oregon and Coast Visitor Tips
(Portland, Oregon) – The number of people traveling during the Labor Day Weekend holiday is expected to jump quite a bit this year, according to the Oregon office of AAA. That means those flying to and from Oregon will be out in greater numbers, but especially those traveling by within the state – such as the Oregon coast. (Above: near Florence).
AAA projects the number of travelers will be up 1.3 percent from last year, meaning some 34.7 million people that will be heading out at least 50 miles from home. It is the highest increase in volume for the holiday in six years.
Narrowing it down to the Pacific region, travel is expected to increase by 1.5 percent with 5.4 million people or 10.4 percent of the population. This data refers to Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and California.
“Reliance on credit cards, rather than increasing income, is fueling holiday travel spending this year,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “The economy continues to make modest gains and consumers are feeling more comfortable taking on debt. Consumer spending is continuing to outpace disposable income, indicating Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year. The total number of 2014 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high.”
From 2000 to 2008, the average travel volume during the Labor Day holiday period was 36.1 million travelers. This year’s forecast of 34.7 million travelers is 1.1 percent above the previous ten years.
Most will travel by car, which likely translates to more people on the Oregon coast for the holiday weekend than last year. Dodds said the national numbers of auto travelers will increase by 1.4 percent, but in the western region the numbers will be higher.
While gas prices are still a bit on the ugly side, just shy of $4 per gallon in Oregon, AAA does not expect this to impact travel much at all. Oregon is one of only seven states where prices are more expensive than they were a year ago.
Air travel in Oregon and around the Pacific regions is expected to increase by one percent, slightly higher than the national average. Airfares are up two percent compared to last year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $219 for the top 40 U.S. air routes, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.
Fill up your vehicle inland as gas is more expensive out on the coast. Make sure you make hotel reservations now as nothing is expected to be open by the time the holiday rolls around. Even there are rooms available, these can go for two or three times the normal amount as hoteliers know they can get it. Find Oregon coast lodging here.
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