Roads, Airports Expected to be Busy for End-of-Summer Labor Day Travelers

city traffic at dusk

Photo: chris-mueller / iStock / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Labor Day weekend is just days away, and roadways and airways are expected to be busy as Southern Californians take advantage of the unofficial end of summer.

According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, the agency's booking data for flights, hotels, rentals cars and cruises are up 4% domestically, compared to last year's Labor Day holiday, and international bookings are up 44%.

"While AAA does not issue a formal travel forecast for the Labor Day holiday, Southern California travel bookings indicate that vacation interest continues at the high levels of the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays, which matched or exceeded pre-pandemic levels," according to the Auto Club.

Auto Club officials said the top travel destinations for Southern California residents over the upcoming weekend will be Las Vegas, San Diego, the Central Coast, Grand Canyon and Mexico.

Nationwide, the most popular international destinations are expected to be Vancouver, Rome, London, Dublin and Paris. The top five domestic travel destinations nationally are expected to be Seattle, Orlando, Anchorage, New York and Las Vegas.

Citing data from transportation-analytics firm INRIX, the Auto Club warned that Thursday and Friday afternoons are expected to be the busiest times on the roads for travel. In the Los Angeles area, the most significant traffic delays are expected to be on Wednesday afternoon on the Golden State (5) Freeway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, with travel times expected to be 88% higher than normal, taking roughly three hours.

"The best times to travel by car over Labor Day weekend are early in the morning or in the evening," Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a statement. "If you must travel during heavy traffic, navigation apps and local departments of transportation can help steer drivers around long delays."

Nearly 1.1 million passengers are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport between Thursday and Monday. Friday is expected to be the busiest day, with 229,000 passengers anticipated at LAX. Roughly 224,000 passengers are expected Thursday, and 220,000 on Monday.

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