August 25, 2020

Travelocity: Labor Day Weekend Will Be Longer, Last-Minute and Quieter This Year

After a summer travel season that saw travelers largely reserving trips last minute, close to home and with safety top of mind, Labor Day weekend – the last hurrah of summer – is looking like it, too, will feel a bit different this year. As Travelocity® reveals its travel predictions ahead of the end-of-summer holiday, demand, search and survey data shows this Labor Day will be longer, socially distant and all-important with many families venturing out for possibly the first time all summer.

A Travelocity survey in May1 revealed that most families were postponing or planning their first leisure trip during COVID-19 for Labor Day weekend. Three in four families said they were planning outdoor and adventure activities for the holiday, and roughly half told the travel provider they would opt for water activities like visiting a beach or lake.

"Labor Day could be the last chance until the holidays for many families and travelers who may have sat out their regular summer plans to get out of the house together," says Katie Junod, General Manager at Travelocity. "With safety as the main priority, travelers are taking advantage of the time off to extend their stay and slow down, with activities and destinations that allow them to spend as much time as possible outside."

Top Labor Day Travel Predictions

What destinations are most popular for Labor Day?

"Demand for social distancing destinations means more people will spend the holiday weekend outside this year," says Junod. According to Travelocity, these are among the most searched destinations for Labor Day 2020.

Category Top Searched Destinations
  • Carolinas: Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Outer Banks
  • Florida: Panama City, Key West, Pensacola
  • Alabama: Orange Beach, Gulf Shores
  • Northeast: Ocean City, Virginia Beach, Cape Cod
Lake Getaways
  • Lake Tahoe; Big Bear Lake, CA; Traverse City, MI
Outdoor Destinations
  • Colorado: Estes Park, Colorado Springs
  • North Carolina: Asheville, North Carolina Mountains
  • American West: Jackson Hole, WY; Grand Canyon

How do hotel bookings this Labor Day compare with last Labor Day?

'Solo-distancing' is on the rise this Labor Day weekend, with Travelocity reporting a near double digit increase in lodging reservations for one over the long holiday weekend. Additionally, alternative accommodations like cabins and condos are growing in popularity with searches increasing anywhere from 200-500% year-over-year in the U.S.

Alternative Accommodation
YoY %
Condo 540%
Cabin 485%
Cottage 425%
Houseboat 270%
Lodge 235%

When are people booking for Labor Day? How long are people staying?

Most travelers are extending their Labor Day to really enjoy the last hurrah of summer. The average length of stay over the weekend is up between 10-15% compared with 2019. As for when travelers are making their weekend plans, look for lots of last-minute reservations.

"Last year, about one-in-three of travelers reserved their Labor Day plans the week of the holiday weekend. In 2020, we anticipate last-minute demand could be even higher," says Junod.

What activities are most popular for Labor Day Weekend?

"It appears travelers are looking for quieter, more secluded activities for Labor Day weekend this year," says Junod. The following searches have increased over the holiday weekend on Travelocity compared with the same time last year.

Search Category YoY %
Fishing 550%
Rooms with a View 542%
Secluded Destinations 400%
Lake Activities 327%
Golf 153%

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