Labor Day 2022 Travel Guide

Despite higher prices, 12.6 million passengers scheduled to fly from U.S airports over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

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Hayley Berg - Tue Aug 16 2022

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  • Domestic Airfare over Labor Day weekend will cost Americans an average of $278 round trip, a 23% increase compared to last year and up 20% compared to 2019 over the same holiday weekend.

  • About 12.6 million passengers are scheduled to fly from U.S airports from Thursday, September 1 to Monday, September 5, averaging about 2.5 million travelers per day over the holiday weekend. The busiest travel days will be the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day as most travelers choose to depart for the weekend on those days. The Labor Day holiday on Monday will also be busy as most travelers return from their vacation.

  • Hotel stays over Labor Day weekend average $189 per night, a 6% increase from the same weekend last year.

  • Car rentals over Labor Day weekend will average $63 per day. 


After a summer of historically high demand for travel, many Americans are taking one more vacation over Labor Day weekend before the summer season comes to an end. Americans are paying an average of $278 round-trip airfare for travel over Labor Day weekend, an increase of 23% compared to last year and an increase of 20% compared to 2019. Prices remain at historically high levels as demand for travel has been strong throughout the summer after pent up demand from the prior two years due to the pandemic. The price of jet fuel remains historically high but has declined in recent weeks to $2.94 per gallon, the lowest level since this past March. 

About 12.6 million passengers are scheduled to fly from U.S airports from Thursday, September 1 through Monday, September 5 with the busiest air travel days occurring on Thursday and Friday when most travelers depart and on Labor Day when most travelers return. Most travelers will depart for their holiday weekend getaway on Friday and return on the Monday Labor Day holiday. While departing on Thursday or Friday for the holiday weekend is most common, they are also the most expensive days to depart at $333 round-trip and $323 round-trip, respectively.

Travelers can save if they are flexible with the dates they choose to travel. Those willing to delay the start of their vacation by a day or two can save by waiting to fly on Saturday ($264 average round-trip), as much as 26% lower from the peak airfare on Thursday. Likewise, returning midweek instead of on Labor Day can save by returning midweek on Wednesday ($275 round-trip), a 21% savings over returning home on Labor Day.

Some Americans are also traveling internationally over the holiday weekend. Over Labor Day weekend International travel will account for about 39% of travel over the holiday weekend, up 7 percentage points compared to last year in 2021. International airfare over Labor Day weekend averages a round-trip airfare of $850, an increase of 34% over last year and a 30% increase compared to 2019. 

The most booked destinations on the Hopper App over Labor Day weekend are Las Vegas, Nevada ($305), Denver, Colorado ($312), and Atlanta, Georgia ($234).

For international travelers, the most popular destinations booked on the Hopper app are San Juan, Puerto Rico ($378), Cancun, Mexico ($492), and Mexico City, Mexico ($473).

Several destinations offer low fares that could be a great deal for those that have not booked their air travel yet for Labor Day weekend. The best deals can be found traveling to Atlanta, Georgia ($237), Orlando, Florida ($244), and Fort Lauderdale, Florida ($246).


The average nightly rate for hotel stays over Labor Day weekend is $189 per night, a 6% increase from last year’s nightly rate over the Labor Day weekend of $179. While the price of hotel stays has increased from last year’s holiday travel, rates are down from their summer peak in June of $193 per night. The nationwide labor shortage has impacted the hospitality industry’s ability to hire enough staff to operate, and has led to a rise in wages for employees. The increase in operating costs for the accommodations sector has led to higher room rates.

The top domestic destinations for hotel searches over Labor Day weekend are New York City, New York ($318 per night), Las Vegas, Nevada ($255 per night), and Orlando, Florida ($135 per night). The top three most searched international destinations for the holiday weekend are all destinations in Mexico with Cancun, Mexico ($224 per night), Mexico City, Mexico ($74 per night), and Playa del Carmen ($140 per night).

Many destinations offer deals that are below the average hotel nightly rate for travelers looking to book a trip over Labor Day weekend at the last minute. The best deals can be found in places like Kissimmee, Florida ($97 per night), Tempe, Arizona ($117 per night), and Fort Myers, Florida ($121 per night).

International travelers will find the best hotel deals over Labor Day weekend in Bangkok, Thailand ($49 per night), Mexico City, Mexico ($74 per night), Cancun, Mexico ($155 per night) Many destinations with warm weather to access the outdoors or a beach are trending over Labor Day weekend. Domestic hotel destinations are trending over the holiday weekend in Fernandina, Florida ($141 per night), Redding, California ($195 per night), and Scottsdale, Arizona ($332 per night). Many vacationers seek specific hotel amenities to enjoy at their destination. Hotels that offer a pool average a nightly rate of $254 per night, $65 per night more than the average domestic nightly stay. Travelers that decide to stay at a hotel with a pool stay longer than other travelers, generally a four-night stay.

Rental Cars

Car rentals over the Labor Day holiday weekend will cost an average of $63 per day. The current nationwide average of regular grade gasoline is $4.15. Gas prices have fallen in recent weeks to nearly $4 per gallon for the first time since early March of this year but remains about 27% higher than Labor Day weekend in 2021. Hopper recommends you book your car rental when you book your flight, or at least 2-3 weeks ahead of Labor Day weekend to ensure you get a good deal.

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