Do’s, don’ts and deals for Labor Day travel: An analysis from Expedia.com
Best days to travel this year are Wednesday and Thursday; Last-minute travel deals abound
BELLEVUE, Wash., August 18, 2016 – Today, the Expedia.com® travel analytics team announced the result of a study of booking patterns to determine the optimal options for travelers over Labor Day. It revealed that the worst day to travel for Labor Day is expected to be Friday, September 2, and the most crowded airport will likely be Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Expedia travel analytics team has identified top destinations for last-minute hotel deals, which days are best (and worst) for Labor Day travel, where to find impressive package deals and which airports to avoid, if possible.
John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia.com, advised, “The best way to save on travel this Labor Day is to book a package. A real advantage of booking with a company like Expedia is you can purchase your hotel and your airline at the same time, which can you save hundreds of dollars, sometimes more. There’s also the added convenience of booking on a single site. Also, try to be flexible with your travel dates. Heading out a day or two earlier may make a big difference.”
Heading out early for Labor Day will help people avoid the busiest travel day, the Friday before Labor Day. The two days prior – Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1 – may yield both savings and peace of mind.
Airports to Avoid
The number one airport to avoid for Labor Day travel, based on the number of flights passing through it, is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In order, the ten busiest U.S. airports will likely be:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Air
- San Francisco International Airport
- Denver International Airport
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte
Last Minute Hotel Deals to Steal *
Average Daily Rates (ADRs) refer to hotel rates in a given city, and are good measure of the city’s relative affordability. Expedia analyzed data based on standalone hotel bookings made between May 30 and August 7, 2016 in an effort to see which cities offer the best rates for last-minute bookings.
In ten markets nationwide this summer, travelers have been able to secure particularly good deals by waiting until they are within three days of travel to book hotel rooms, versus booking those rooms more than seven days out. In some cases, ADRs drop by almost 30 percent. Given this, the following cities are strong candidates for last-minute Labor Day savings:
- In Phoenix this summer, ADRs have dropped by nearly 30 percent when booked within three days of travel, versus more than a week out.
- In Austin, hotel rates have dropped by nearly 30 percent in the same time frame.
- In New Orleans, hotel rates have dropped 25 percent.
- In Detroit, rates have dropped by more than 20 percent.
- In Cape Cod, rates have dropped by more than 20 percent.
- In Chicago, rates have also dropped by more than 20 percent.
- In Dallas, rates have dropped by 20 percent.
- In Mexico’s Riviera Maya, rates have dropped by just less than 20 percent.
- In Fort Lauderdale, rates have dropped by just less than 20 percent.
- In Orlando, rates have also dropped by just less than 20 percent.
Top Package Deals **
Package deals yield some of the most significant savings in travel. When a consumer books a hotel, flight and/or a car at the same time on Expedia, the combined price can be hundreds of dollars lower – sometimes more than a thousand dollars lower – than if booked separately. Expedia analyzed US bookings from July 4, 2016, through July 25, 2016, to determine destinations with strong package deals.
It found that London is showing particularly strong package savings for Labor Day travel, with savings of just over $1,350 for package bookings. The current dollar-to-pound exchange rate also makes the UK a prime destination for savvy travelers. Other destinations showing deep savings for package deals over Labor Day include:
- Paris, with savings averaging just less than $1,350 for package bookings;
- Hawaii, with savings to Maui in excess of $1,200, and Oahu, with savings of nearly $1,100.
- Mexico – in particular, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit or Los Cabos – with savings of just more than $1,000 for flights and hotels booked together; and
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with savings of nearly $750 for package bookings.
Understanding the value of packages, steering clear of packed airports and prioritizing last-minute destinations are particularly important travel hacks for this Labor Day weekend, which promises to be exceptionally busy. Expedia.com travel analysts have spotted a spike in Labor Day weekend rental car demand, which is up nearly 20% in 2016 versus the year prior. Despite the crowded roads and skies, great deals and ideal destinations abound for travelers who make informed decisions about how to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.
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For more information, please contact:
Dave McNamee Maureen Thon
Expedia.com HL Group
(917) 332-5039 (646) 375-4027
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