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For Americans, the Labor Day weekend is traditionally considered the unofficial end of summer. Beyond just being a milepost for the end of a season as well as a day to celebrate the American worker, Labor Day weekend is also the perfect chance for a long weekend getaway. And considering that many studies show that the majority of Americans don’t use all of their annually allotted paid time off, it can be a great time to use a few vacation days for an even longer vacation.

With many school districts across the country starting classes before Labor Day, not every family can plan a long vacation, but for those that can, the timing couldn’t be better. Whereas Memorial Day often means huge crowds at the beginning of summer, and July 4th can mean soaring temperatures, Labor Day weekend combines the best of both worlds – smaller crowds and moderating late-summer weather.

And unlike the busiest travel holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, advance planning is not as imperative for a Labor Day vacation. In fact, Travelocity data shows that shopping for Labor Day travel only peaks in the two weeks prior to the holiday. So, even if a decision is not made until the last minute to take advantage of the holiday, all is not lost. And since Labor Day tends to be a “driving” holiday, it can be an optimal time for air travel – especially for families who hesitate to head to the airport during peak travel periods.


But for many travelers, the road trip is a Labor Day tradition. However, despite the popularity of road trips, not everyone owns a vehicle that is optimized for a cross-country drive. In fact, 3 of the 5 best selling vehicles in the US this year are pickup trucks which are generally better for hauling cargo than families. Combine that with the fact that about a quarter of new cars are leased and have restrictive mileage limits, it means that renting a car could be the best road trip option for many people.

On Travelocity, customers can shop for rental cars by size, brand and pickup and drop-off location to find the best combination of price, size and vehicle features for a great road trip. And considering that for 2015, the IRS has estimated the cost of driving a personal vehicle at 57.5 cents/mile – which can easily surpass the cost of renting a car for even a medium-length road trip – renting a car for that Labor Day road trip may be the second best decision of that end-of-summer vacation (only surpassed by the decision to take a vacation in the first place).

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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