AAA Travel: Reliance on credit cards fueling holiday travel spending

AAA Travel 2014 Labor Day Travel Forecast concludes, “Reliance on credit cards, rather than increasing income, is fueling holiday travel spending this year.” Labor Day travel weekend gears up for 35 million travelers across the USA venturing more than 50 miles from home. This is the most travelers for Labor Day since 2008, shortly before the subprime mortgage fueled banking collapse and the recession.

2014 sees the average cost of discount airfare up by 2% year-over-year from $214 to $219 round trip. 2.65 million travelers (8% of Labor Day holiday travelers) will take to the skies August 28 to September 1, an increase of 1% from 2013.

29.7 million travelers will take to the road (86% of Labor Day holiday travelers and an increase of 1.4% over 2013).

AAA 3-diamond hotel average room rates are up 6% from $161 last year to $171 this year. AAA 2-diamond hotel average room rates are up 9% this year to $125 per night. Car rental rates remain steady at an average $51 per day.

Consumer spending is continuing to rise in spite of stagnant income growth. In the third quarter of this year spending is expected to increase 3.8 percent year-over-year, while disposable personal income is only expected to increase 1.4 percent. Reliance on credit cards, rather than increasing income, is fueling holiday travel spending this year. While economic growth is slow, consumers are feeling more comfortable taking on debt.

“This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation,” continued Doney.  “Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year.”

Nearly 35 Million Traveling for Labor Day Says AAA, Highest Since Recession Driven Decline

Staycation this Labor Day weekend

I won’t be one of the Labor Day weekend travelers venturing 50 miles from home. The best weather of August is happening right now in Monterey with sunny skies. I only have to drive five miles to hang out on one of the best beaches in California at Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Carmel Beach dolphin

Swimming with dolphins Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea (Loyalty Traveler – August 11, 2014)

This is just one of the benefits of living year-round in a tourist destination.

Next week, my post Labor Day travel to Norway begins.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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