Skift Take

Americans have increasingly looked to travel overseas this year, and many aren't squandering one last opportunity for an international trip this summer.

This summer’s travel boom is showing no signs of slowing down during the Labor Day weekend, especially for the growing number of Americans looking to vacation overseas.

International travel bookings are up 44% Labor Day weekend this year from last, according to travel organization AAA. The group also found international hotel bookings have jumped 82% from the 2022 holiday.

“Pent-up travel demand has been a driving factor in the high number of international bookings,” said Aixa Diaz, AAA spokesperson.

AAA data also revealed that Vancouver, Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the top five international travel destinations for the holiday weekend. Roughly 36 million Americans traveled abroad between January and May, a 35% jump from the same period last year, according to the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office. 

“This time of year is appealing because temperatures are starting to cool and summer crowds are starting to wane,” AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale said about international travel, with the UK in particular getting a boost from travelers looking to experience more moderate climates.

2023 Labor Day statistics
More than half of U.S. adults intend to travel over the Labor Day weekend (Source: The Vacationer).

Meanwhile, a recent survey by travel news site The Vacationer found that 57% of American adults intend to travel over the Labor Day weekend, a 4 percentage point jump from last year. Those increases are in line with gains The Vacationer recorded during surveys for summer travel, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July this year.

“Revenge travel has been talked about for a few years now,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer and a Rowan College of South Jersey professor who has conducted studies and surveys on travel.

“But it is finally appropriate to use the term this summer, and it will continue on Labor Day.”

The TSA expects to screen 14.25 million passengers and crew between September 1 and September 6, an 11% increase from last year’s Labor Day weekend.

Those planning to fly over the holiday period might have noticed a drop in airfares compared to last year. Average airfares for domestic flights this Labor Day weekend are $226 per ticket, according to online travel agency Hopper. That’s down 11% from last year’s holiday and a 20% drop from 2019.


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Tags: holiday travel, holidays, international travel, travel recovery

Photo credit: More travelers are taking to the skies this Labor Day weekend than last year. Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

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