A report by the American Automobile Association shows a bright spot in the nation’s economic news.
The AAA predicts that 34.1 million people are planning to take a trip of more than 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, up from 32.7 million last year and the highest in five years.
The rise is due to increased consumer confidence, with one poll saying it’s at a six-year high. A slight dip in fuel prices may also be a contributing factor.
The AAA says the average trip will cover 594 miles and travelers will spend $804.
Are you planning on going anywhere this Labor Day weekend? Are you feeling more or less confident about the economy and is this affecting your travel plans? Tell us about it in the comments section.
One of the greatest boons to travelers in recent years is the expanding eurozone. Gone are the days when you spent a few days in France, then wasted money getting your francs exchanged into lire in order to visit Italy. There were always a few odd coins left over that ended up sitting useless in the sock drawer.
At the start of 2011, Estonia has become the 17th country to join the eurozone. The kroon will soon become a memory as the old currency is phased out.
While this is good news for travelers carrying euros, it could carry a hint of future trouble. Many countries that adopted the euro saw prices rise as shopkeepers rounded up in the exchange. This is what happened in Spain, and prices never stopped rising. What used to be a budget travel destination soon became almost as expensive as the rest of Europe. Living in Madrid I’m constantly hearing Spaniards complain about how much more expensive things are these days.
Estonia has also become a budget travel destination in recent years. The Baltic republic may be small with only 1.3 million people, but it has an interesting history, some beautiful countryside, and a distinct culture. Hopefully it won’t get too expensive to experience all that.