Travelers head out for Labor Day weekend; many things different due to COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As families gear up for Labor Day, travelers are hitting the road and are looking at the lowest Labor Day gas prices in four years.

Road trips are the most popular method of travel as coronavirus concerns shape travel trends.

"For families, it's typically the most cost-effective mode of travel, it's convenient. You can stop and start when you want to, but now especially given the pandemic, given people are trying to stay as safe as they can," said AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell. "Traveling in their own vehicle, having control over that environment and the cleanliness of it makes automobile travel even that much more appealing."

Action News also found dozens of travelers at Philadelphia International Airport.

Shedell Bolton of Bensalem was going to Fort Lauderdale with her family to visit Universal Studios. She said she works sun up to sun down as a mail carrier and is willing to risk the flight so her family can enjoy this weekend.

"It was affordable and we're just going to have a good time and relax because we need that right now," said Bolton.

Philadelphia International Airport Chief Operating Officer Keith Brune said travel is down 60 percent compared to the same time last year but said it's rebounded from the height of the pandemic, which caused 95 percent fewer travelers.

"About 64,000 passengers we're expecting through the holiday weekend," said Brune. "Obviously it's a little bit lower, considerably lower, than other years but in this COVID environment, that's a pretty good number for this holiday weekend."

Action News spoke with to drivers headed to the Poconos, who said they needed a getaway.

"The Poconos are great," said Ron Dochinsky of Broomall. "It's so distant and everything like that and the air is so clean up there."

But a good number of people are staying put this weekend.

"If somebody gets sick and gives it somebody in my family, that's going to cause problems and then everybody else is going to get sick and I don't want that," said Sarah Melendez of Wilmington.
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