Labor Day Weekend Travel May Be At Its Heaviest Since 2008

700K Wisconsin Residents Will Travel Over 3-Day Weekend

The DOT has warned travelers to expect heavy traffic this weekend. Photo: Oran Viriyincy (CC-BY-SA).

AAA Travel is predicting that this Labor Day weekend will have the largest number of holiday travelers since 2008, with nearly 35 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home.

Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA Wisconsin, said more than 700,000 drivers will be hitting the road in Wisconsin. He said the increase is fueled, in part, by the holiday weekend starting in August, which traditionally boosts the number of travelers.

“We’ve also been seeing a very steady increase year after year as the economy continues its slow but steady improvement,” said Jarmusz. “We feel more folks are more confident in spending the money to take a trip. Actually, consumer spending is outpacing even the income levels, so that means the people will be taking these trips even if it means taking on a little bit of debt to do so.”

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Lower gas prices will help make holiday travel a little more affordable, according to Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst at

“This Labor Day nationally is the cheapest we’ve seen since 2010,” he said. “The prices in Wisconsin also among the cheapest for Labor Day weekend that we’ve seen in a few years.”

AAA suggests that travelers budget extra time to reach their destinations, as traffic will be heavier than normal. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced earlier this week that it plans to suspend most major highway construction projects during the three-day weekend to minimize delays.

The department also noted that officers will be out in force to support the state’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, a national anti-drunken driving program that began earlier this month.