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Labor Day 2013 Forecast: More Travelers, Bigger Deals

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Are you planning to take a trip this Labor Day weekend? Going somewhere that is more than 50 miles from home? If the answer is yes, prepare to join the 34.1 million other Americans who are also on the road. Yes, the roads and airports will be crowded, but the good news is that this year more Labor Day travelers means better deals.

According to the AAA Labor Day Travel Report, this year marks a record number of travelers. We’re expected to see a 4.2 percent increase in travelers from the 32.7 million last year–a new post-recession high.

It is estimated that 85 percent of travelers (29.2 million) will travel via automobile, a 4.3 percent increase from last year thanks to a 3 percent drop in national gas prices. More people will be flying this Labor Day, about 2.61 million, a 3 percent increase since last year’s report.

People are feeling more secure, and are comfortable spending the extra money. Just how much money? AAA forecasts that the average round trip will cost $804, which is up $55 from last year. Surprisingly, the average trip distance will be around 592 miles, which is down 32 miles from 2012.

The Labor Day holiday spans August 29 through September 2. However, a staggering 46 percent of people will start their trip on Friday, and 43 percent will return on Monday. This means that if you can avoid traveling on those two days, prices will go down, and comfort levels will rise.

Hotwire has introduced ”sleeper” alternatives for their top five destinations. If you were planning to go Chicago, consider visiting Indianapolis instead for 53 percent in savings, instead of New York City, plan a trip to Toronto and save 39 percent. Wanted to visit Las Vegas? Save 19 percent and go to Reno instead; likewise, you can save 50 percent by going to Washington D.C. instead of Boston. And instead of heading south to Atlanta, save 23 percent by visiting St. Louis.

And that’s not all, here’s a complete round up of last-minute hotel deals for Labor Day:

Relax at your private villa in St. Barth

How about celebrating the end of summer with a glass of champagne on your private patio overlooking the waters of Marigot Bay? It’s a steal for $300 a night. Sibarth Villa Rentals will let you rent your personal luxury 1 or 2 bedroom villa including a pool, open-air kitchen and complimentary car rental when staying 7 days or longer. To book, click here.

Like Beers and Bikes?

Then The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon, has an appealing deal for outdoorsy types. The “Bikes and Brews” package includes accommodation in the landmark Meier & Frank building, two rental bikes, walking and biking maps, a taste of four different beers and a New Belgium gift bag. Package starts at $269 per night. To book, click hereor call (877) 229-9995 and mention booking code BNBPKG. Available through September 2.

Golfing With a View

With a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, fans of golf will be able to enjoy a round of golf at the Ka’anapali Resort in Maui, Hawaii. The “19th Hole Package” includes two nights accommodation in a pool view room, buffet breakfast for one day, a round of golf for and a full size car. Coming with a family? No problem, because the hotel also offers a variety of free family-friendly activities including sunset hula shows, Hawaiian craft classes, garden tours and more. Rates start at $707.  To book, click here.

Luxury for Less in the Dominican Republic

Take advantage of this last minute booking offer from Paradisus Resorts to soak in the last warm rays of sunlight at the exotic beach of Punta Cana. For $146 per person per night and $110 for every additional person, guests can choose between the five outdoor pools, nine restaurant and bars, golf and unique beach settings with tropical gardens and mangroves. Click here for booking and additional information.

Family Trip to Vermont

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If you want to trade in hectic city life for a relaxing trip in the green hills of Fairlee, Vermont, the Lake Morey Resort offers a deal for your entire family. Located on a lake the resort offers a variety of outdoor activities for every age. Book the 3-Night Labor day package that features 3-nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast and dinner, and a plethora of seasonal amenities including  boating and paddling. Rates start at $456 per person on double occupancy. To book, click here or call 800-423-1211.

Mexico Get Away from Florida

CheapOair is offering a Mexico trip deal starting at $1,106 per person. The package includes the airfare from Miami to Cancun and a 4-night stay at the Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa.  Click here for booking.

Celebrate in Miami with Pharrell and Robin Thicke

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is holding a serious soirée this year, and it comes with some serious savings. This Labor Day, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke will perform as part of the hotel’s BleauLive performance series on September 1. In addition to the concert, there will be a poolside party with private lounges available. To take advantage of this event, you can choose from two package deals:

  • The Bleau Fan Package includes deluxe accommodations, two passes to see Pharrell and Robin Thicke, including a two-hour open bar with specialty cocktails. You will also be able to attend the Daytime Pool Party with a featured DJ on August 31, and have access to the BleauLive Poolside Lounge with discounted complimentary cocktails.
  • The VIP Package gives you everything included in the Bleau Fan Package, plus more. In addition to access to the BleauLive Lounge, you will receive complimentary specialty cocktails. You’ll also get to have a meet and greet with Pharrell and Robin Thicke, along with a guaranteed 2 pm checkout, and complimentary parking during your stay.

Rates start at $364. To book, click here.

Feel the Island Vibe in Florida

The TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach in Florida is offering a Labor Day Weekend Endless Summer Package. From August 30 to September 3, you can take advantage of rates starting at $645 for two. The package is for both TradeWinds properties, the Island Grand and the Guy Harvey Outpost. If you want to stay longer, you can add additional nights your trip with a 50 percent discount off of rack rates.

While you’re there, take advantage of the Labor Day celebration party on September 1. It includes activities such as face painting, carnival games, and contests with prizes. A “Taste of the Island” buffet will include Island-inspired dishes, plus  “Little Islander’s” buffet for kids. The night will finish with a fireworks show, which can easily be viewed from the beach. For reservations and information, call toll-free (866) JUST LET GO (587-8538) or visit www.JustLetGo.com.

Save Across the Country

If you’re looking for a great deal and already have your travel dates set, check out Red Roof Inn’s Nicest Price Promotion, which can save you up to 20 percent off of the best available rate at select hotels when you book at least 10 days in advance. You can also take a look at the Red Hot Deals, which offer discounts at hotels for anywhere from 5 to 20 percent off, sometimes including weekend days. For more information or to book, call 800-RED-ROOF or click here.

Get Golden Savings in San Diego

This year, the Rancho Bernardo Inn located in San Diego, California, turns fifty years old. To celebrate its golden anniversary, the Inn is offering a special, which includes two nights at the best available rate. The third night costs only $8.16, the rate from its opening year in 1963. This special deal is valid now through Labor Day.

A variety of golden-themed activities and events are being offered as well, such as a ‘Mad Men’ Classic Cocktail hour, a golden pedicure that comes with golden Havaianas, and a chance to win a free round of golf. Check out all the activities here. To book, call 877-269-5242 and use the rate code RBI50. For more information, click here.

Relax in Jackson Hole

Right now, Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is having a Super Summer Sale. You can save 30 percent off an Alpine Studio, Sundance Junior Suite or One Bedroom Suite for any stays from August 17 to September 5, and rates begin at $195 per night. While you’re there, take advantage of the warm weather with blue ribbon trout fishing, hiking the Grand Teton National Park, or taking in the scenery while floating down the Snake River. For more information, click here.

Save and Splash in Scottsdale

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is offering a Sip, Savor & Splash Package with rates that begin at $179 per night. The package includes a $50 credit for each day that can be used toward dining, spa, tennis, or the Trailblazers Kids Club, and a late check out at 4 pm on Monday, September 2. Labor Day weekend festivities will include highlights such as bountiful buffets, fireworks, limbo contests, photo booths, watermelon eating contests, zip lining, and a Techno glow party. To book, click here.

Stay and Save in a Sailing Village

Sail into a summer getaway at The Lodge at Tiburon. From now until September 12, you can snag a deal of up to 20 percent off room rates. The package also includes 20 percent off of lunch at Tiburon Tavern, the Lodge’s gastropub that features Northern California cuisine with farm-to-table approach. You can also take advantage of hiking and biking trails, along with the great views of the sailing village that is Tiburon. Rates start at $183 a night. For more information or to book, click here.

Family Fun in Miami

Right in between Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Miami International Airport, Turnberry Isle Miami features an “All the Best” package that starts at $249 per night. It includes a daily American buffet breakfast for two people per room in the Cascata grill, a daily $50 resort credit, overnight valet parking, and kids ages 12 and under eat free.

Labor Day weekend festivities begin on August 30 with Eco Hour, a Kids Connection program that introduces kids to reefs, the ocean, and wildlife, and a Sundown Beach Splash with live entertainment, kids’ activities, and specials on appetizers and drinks until 8:30 pm.

Throughout the weekend, you can take in morning yoga, relax by the pool, enjoy the BBQ buffet served at Laguna Grill, listen to steel pan musicians, let the kids take in activities at the Island Rock at Laguna Pool, and finish the night off with a Zumba party. On Sunday night, the whole family can enjoy the Dive-In Movie at Cascata Pool and watch Oz The Great and Powerful while the kids enjoy complimentary popcorn and lemonade, and adult savor light bites and cocktails. To book, call 1-866-612-7739 or click here.

By Ashleigh Wheland and Cathrine Schermann for Petergreenberg.com

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