Labor Day weekend travel down by nearly 40%

September 14, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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Travel is still down significantly. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Labor Day weekend travel was down 38% compared to last year.

This year, Americans took 2.8 billion fewer trips for Labor Day weekend travel. Last year, Americans took 7.4 billion trips, a 38% difference between 2019 and 2020. Data includes travel for each day of the three-day weekend plus the two days before and after.

According to the report, Labor Day weekend travel was at its highest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lower numbers were reported for Sunday and Monday.

Broken down by distance, the narrative about Labor Day weekend travel is not completely consistent.

The number of trips under 50 miles reflected the same overall drop of 38%. However, trips of 50 miles or more actually increased by 10%.

Labor Day weekend travel by mileage
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Were people less willing to give up vacation trips due to the pandemic as opposed to canceling plans with nearby family and friends? Not necessarily. Within the longer distance trips, Labor Day travel was both up and down.

Breaking down long distance trips even further, trips between 100 and 250 miles were up 47% compared with last year’s travel. However, trips longer than 500 miles dropped by 54%. In the middle, trips of 250-500 miles were up more than 30%.

A closer look at local trips shows Labor Day weekend travel was down across the board. The one exception were trips of 25-50 miles, which remained mostly stagnant. Trips of 1-3 miles were down about 42%, with trips of 5-10 miles experiencing a similar drop.

Last year, about 19% of Americans stayed home each during the Labor Day weekend. This year, that number jumped to an average of 26%.

By state, fewer Mississippians stayed home, with only about 19% of residents staying home during Labor Day weekend. On the other end, about 36% of residents of Washington, D.C., stayed at home, the highest by percentage.

Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.