Labor Day Kicks Off Fall Activity

Goodbye, summer, and hello, fall. Labor Day travel plans increase this year, and consumers are packing for autumn getaways.

A third of consumers plan to travel for the Labor Day weekend, a 6% uptick compared with last year’s early-September holiday weekend, according to a recent survey of 1,200 Americans by Consumers are also packing for autumn getaways, with 86% planning fall travel in 2013.

Driving will be the most popular mode of transportation (63%) this Labor Day, while 30% will take to the skies. Of those traveling for the holiday, 42% plan to visit family and friends, 25% are trekking to the great outdoors and 24% will head to the ocean. One in five will go on a city escape. New York is the most popular destination, followed by Denver, Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston.

Main motivators for travel this autumn are fewer crowds (22%) and a more pleasant climate (19%). Additionally, 32% of travelers plan to spend more on their fall leisure trip in 2013 and 57% expect to spend about the same as they did for Labor Day 2012.

Fall also seems to inspire vacations longer and otherwise different from summer vacations:

  • More than one-quarter (27%) will take three or more trips this fall;
  • 56% of fall travelers will take a vacation lasting a week or longer;
  • 52% book their fall vacation three or more months in advance;
  • 43% of travelers will enjoy a romantic getaway with a loved one this fall, and 38% will travel with family;
  • 42% plan to visit a repeat destination; one in five will venture to discover a new locale; and
  • 74% plan a hotel stay, 28% will stay with family and friends, and 22% will rent a vacation rental home.


The top five fall activities: view colorful foliage (44%), go on a wine tasting or visit a vineyard (29%), attend food festivals (22%), attend a football game or collegiate homecoming (18%) or go to a state/county fair or fall festival (18%). Pumpkin pie is a favorite fall food for 18% of respondents, while 14% go for apple pie. Apple cider is the fall beverage of choice (29%) followed by hot chocolate (11%).