Thirty-three million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, a 2.9 percent increase from last year, according to AAA. The vast majority -- 85 percent-- will go by automobile, a 3.1 percent increase compared with last year.
The increase in automobile travel comes despite rising gas prices, up 16 cents per gallon as of Tuesday from a year ago.
Decreased airfare may play a part in the rising number of air travelers this holiday weekend, expected to rise 3.7 percent. AAA reports average domestic airfare is down 4 percent from last year.
That decrease in airfare is even deeper to some of the nation's most popular vacation destinations. Orbitz flight booking data found airfare was flat or down to most of its top 10 Labor Day destinations. Airfare to Anaheim, Calif., saw the most dramatic drop at 11 percent. Las Vegas airfare decreased 9 percent and airfare to Atlanta, 6 percent.
The vast majority of holiday weekend travelers are opting to stay stateside, turning the three-day weekend into an all-American holiday. That's according to online booking giant Priceline, who compiled the top 50 Labor Day destinations based on bookings. Some 47 of the top 50 destinations are domestic; Niagara Falls, Montreal and Toronto are the only international spots on the list.
"It appears that the Olympics hype and favorable exchange rates didn't do enough to offset high international airfares for the holiday," said Brian Ek, Priceline spokesperson, said in a news release. "Major U.S. cities, however, are going to be crowded over the long weekend, as visitors get in their back-to-school and fall shopping, and enjoy the restaurants, theaters and museums."
New York, Seattle and Las Vegas appear four times each on the top 50 list, while Chicago, San Francisco and Boston make three appearances each. Philadelphia, with four spots on the list, and Hawaii, with two spots, failed to make the top 50 list in 2011.
Top 50 Labor Day Travel Destinations:
Chicago, North Michigan Avenue/River North Area
New York City, Midtown West
Las Vegas, Strip North Area
San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf
New York City, Upper East Side
Seattle, Downtown/Pike Place
Chicago, Millennium Park/Loop & Grant Park
Seattle, Seattle Center/Space Needle
New York City, Times Square/Theater District
Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South
Niagara Falls, St. Catharines
New Orleans, French Quarter
Oahu, Waikiki Beach Area
Chicago, Greater Chicago Area
Atlantic City, Atlantic City/Cape May
Boston, Waterfront, Convention Center
New York City, Midtown East
Niagara Falls, Buffalo
Montreal, City Centre
Seattle, Airport Area
Atlanta, Buckhead Area
Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square/Business District
San Diego, Coronado
San Francisco, Union Square East
Las Vegas, Fremont Square Vicinity
St. Louis, Downtown
Boston, Harbor Front/Aquarium
Boston, Copley Square/Back Bay
San Francisco, SOMA/Moscone Center
Savannah, Historic Savannah & Riverfront
Orange County, Disneyland & Anaheim North
Philadelphia, Convention Center/Mid Center City
Philadelphia, Museum District
Seattle, Lake Union
Toronto, Downtown North
New York City, Central Park South
Los Angeles, Downtown
Las Vegas, Boulder Strip
Philadelphia, University Area