ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nearly 2.6 million people in the mountain states region including New Mexico will travel during the upcoming Labor Day holiday, a 5.4 percent increase from last year and a post-recession high, AAA New Mexico said.
The anticipated increase is predominantly due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market, AAA said. As home prices rise in many parts of the country, more families feel comfortable about traveling this Labor Day.
Although schools already have started again in New Mexico, this holiday weekend will give families the opportunity for one final extended summer getaway.
“As drivers hit the roads for the holiday, we remind them safety should be their first priority, so please drive without any distractions,” said AAA New Mexico Regional Manager Ana Gonzalez.
The mountain region also includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
The largest share of travelers on a single day will leave for their Labor Day trips on Friday, and the most popular date of return will be Monday.
Traveling by all modes of transportation is forecasted to increase this Labor Day compared to last, but driving still will be the most popular among travelers.
Survey results shows:
⋄ Automobile: 2.1 million, an increase of 5.5 percent.
⋄ Air travel: 217,000, an increase of 3.8 percent.
⋄ Other (trains, buses, cruise ships): 210,000, up 5.4 percent.
Mountain region residents surveyed say they plan to travel 1,060 miles round-trip during the upcoming holiday period, AAA said.
They also expect to spend an average of $670 on transportation costs, accommodations, food and beverages, shopping and entertainment.
The top activities for Labor Day vacationers will be dining, visiting friends and relatives, shopping, touring and sightseeing, and visiting a beach or waterfront.
The projections by AAA are based on research and forecasts from IHS Global Insight.