Rental Car Reservations Increase for Labor Day 2022 — TripIt Blog

One of the busiest travel seasons we’ve seen in years is coming to a close, but not without a strong finish. Almost every holiday this summer has set travel records, and we expect Labor Day 2022 to be no different.

TripIt analyzed US origin flight, rental car, lodging and vacation rental reservations on TripIt for Labor Day weekend 2022 and compared the results to the equivalent booking period in 2021.

We’ve seen that despite the reported chaos, Americans are still taking to the roads and skies for one last ride before fall. Yet again, international travel continues to deliver the strongest returns—with bookings down 20% from 2019 levels. Even with unprecedented heat, airport passenger caps and reports of lost bags galore, it seems nothing will deter Americans from their love of going abroad.

Meanwhile, domestic travel by both air and car cannot be ignored as they show strong growth compared to last year.

Current percentage of flight reservations compared to previous year

2022 flight
(all)
2022 flight
(domestic)
2022 flight
(international)
2022 Car Rentals 2022 accommodation 2022 Vacation Rentals
% change from 2021 +96% +63% +222% +55% +40% +16%

More than one-third of travelers went abroad for Labor Day

Airports across the U.S. will see the most congestion on Thursday, September 1 and Friday, September 2, with Atlanta, Boston, Denver and Dallas making the Fourth Worth top 10.

Many of these airports rank in the top 10 for most cancellations or delays, but regardless of which airport you plan to travel through, allow some extra time for crowds and long lines and keep an eye on your flight alerts (tip: TripIt Pro can help!) to stay on top of any changes and how they may affect your trip.

We expect some of the busiest airports and busiest departure times:

International travelers accounted for more than a third (34%) of flights for the Labor Day holiday. While that’s down slightly from Fourth of July’s 40%, many international destinations made huge jumps in the rankings from last year, and new international destinations place in the top 25, including Dublin (#20) and Athens (#22).

When it comes to domestic destinations, it seems many Americans are checking off their bucket-list trip destinations, as identified in a recent TripIt survey.

Flight destination ranking and rank changes

2022 ranking City, State 2021 ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 Las Vegas, NV 1 0
2 Denver, CO 2 0
3 New York, NY 4 1
4 London 28 24
5 Chicago, IL 3 -2
6 Boston, MA 8 2
7 Orlando, FL 5 -2
8 Seattle, WA 6 -2
9 Paris 19 10
10 Los Angeles, CA 7 -3
11 San Francisco, CA 10 -1
12 San Diego, CA 12 0
13 Newark, NJ 21 8
14 Honolulu, HI 13 -1
15 Phoenix, AZ 15 0
16 rome 36 20
17 Atlanta, GA 11 -6
18 cancun 9 -9
19 Washington DC 20 1
20 Dublin 65 45
21 Dallas, TX 14 -7
22 Athens 26 4
23 Amsterdam 54 31
24 Barcelona 64 40
25 Minneapolis, MN 23 -2

A break at the pump can give rental cars the green light

Gas prices are higher throughout the summer season, averaging $4.60 per gallon starting on Memorial Day and averaging $5.06 per gallon. Drivers of private cars and rental cars alike will be pleased to know that the national average gas price has fallen nearly every week of the past nine. We saw a 26% increase in the number of rental car reservations booked for Labor Day compared to the Fourth of July (closer to when gas prices were at their peak), although fluctuating gas prices are only one possible reason for this increase.

And while nearly every state is experiencing intense heat this summer, it seems Americans still want to soak up as much sunshine and fresh air as possible with destinations like Orlando (#4), Los Angeles (#5), San Diego (#5). #13), and Fort Lauderdale (#17) all made the top 25 list.

Car rental pickup destination ranking and rank changes

2022 ranking City, State 2021 ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 Denver, CO 1 0
2 Boston, MA 5 3
3 Kahului, HI 2 -1
4 Orlando, FL 13 9
5 Los Angeles, CA 16 11
6 San Francisco, CA 8 2
7 Las Vegas, NV 4 -3
8 Honolulu, HI 3 -5
9 Lihue, HI 9 0
10 Seattle, WA 19 9
11 Phoenix, AZ 6 -5
12 Chicago, IL 7 -5
13 San Diego, CA 17 4
14 Portland, OR 12 -2
15 Kailua-Kona, HI 15 0
16 Salt Lake City, UT 10 -6
17 Fort Lauderdale, FL 36 19
18 SeaTac, WA 14 -4
19 Dallas, TX 21 2
20 Philadelphia, PA 20 0
21 San Jose, CA 47 26
22 Detroit, MI 18 -4
23 New York, NY 34 11
24 Tampa, FL 31 7
25 Newark, NJ 64 39

While the top 25 list for hotel reservations remains mostly the same, the list has some new additions including Columbus, OH (#18), which jumped 78 spots, Pittsburgh, PA (#21), which jumped 34 spots, and Miami Beach, FL (# 25), which jumped 20 spots. And for vacation rentals, there were even bigger jumps: St. Louis, MO (#10) jumped 192 spots, Santa Fe, NM (#17) jumped 282 spots, and Panama City, FL (#21) jumped 220 spots.

Another key difference between hotel stays and vacation rental stays? length Hotel reservations averaged 3.2 days of stay, while vacation rental reservations averaged 4.4 days of stay.

Lodging destination ranking and rank changes

2022 ranking City, State 2021 ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 New York, NY 2 1
2 Las Vegas, NV 1 -1
3 Chicago, IL 3 0
4 Boston, MA 9 5
5 Orlando, FL 4 -1
6 San Diego, CA 12 6
7 New Orleans, LA 15 8
8 Denver, CO 5 -3
9 San Francisco, CA 10 1
10 Seattle, WA 8 -2
11 Honolulu, HI 11 0
12 Los Angeles, CA 14 2
13 Atlanta, GA 7 -6
14 Washington DC 19 5
15 Nashville, TN 6 -9
16 Austin, TX 22 6
17 Anaheim, CA 27 10
18 Columbus, OH 96 78
19 Portland, OR 18 -1
20 Lahaina, HI 13 -7
21 Pittsburgh, PA 55 34
22 Queens, NY 32 10
23 Anchorage, AK 17 -6
24 San Antonio, TX 26 2
25 Miami Beach, FL 45 20

Vacation Rental Destination Rankings and Rank Changes

2022 ranking City, State 2021 ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 San Diego, CA 4 3
2 Chicago, IL 14 12
3 New Orleans, LA 16 13
4 Seattle, WA 12 8
5 New York, NY 21 16
6 Anchorage, AK 5 -1
7 Nashville, TN 1 -6
8 Atlanta, GA 23 15
9 Los Angeles, CA 9 0
10 St. Louis, MO 202 192
11 Austin, TX 38 27
12 Denver, CO 6 -6
13 Asheville, NC 42 29
14 Honolulu, HI 18 4
15 Sedona, AZ 7 -8
16 Brooklyn, NY 2 -14
17 Santa Fe, NM 299 282
18 Portland, ME 49 31
19 Portland, OR 11 -8
20 Galveston, TX 67 47
21 Panama City, FL 241 220
22 Boston, MA 46 24
23 Hilton Head Island, SC 17 -6
24 Provincetown, MA 81 57
25 Paso Robles, CA 25 0

Methodology: TripIt looked at US origin round-trip flight reservations made between August 1, 2021 and August 1, 2022 and the equivalent booking period for travel over the Labor Day holiday (Thursday, September 1 – Tuesday, September 6, 2022). In 2021. Reservation data on TripIt is provided by users and is booking provider agnostic.

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