Celebrating Labor Day, travel style


I’m celebrating today. It is, after all, a holiday, and I’m not at work so that’s reason enough for celebration. But there is more to it. At least I think there is. In fact, Labor Day may just be one of the best days of the year for travelers. At least it is to me.

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Then again, when I loaded up Google’s home page this morning they seemed a bit confused as to what we’re celebrating. Just a tiny little American flag at the bottom of the page and a mouse-over that announces the holiday. No Doodle commemorating the celebration or even a reasonable explanation of why we’re taking a day off today.

The history of the date has some entertainment, essentially a union taking a day off in the NYC area and eventually pressing it nation-wide. And there is something to be said for the original idea, a festival to celebrate as a community:

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. 

As for me, that’s not really what or how I’m celebrating. I’m observing the holiday with the grill lit in the back yard, cocktails available on the deck and many friends coming over (you can, too; just call before you get here). And I’m celebrating one of the best days of the year for travelers. Why is is such a great day? Because travel gets significantly better starting tomorrow.

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Fewer passengers thanks to the summer holidays being over; I’m a fan. (Photo by allaboutgeorge on flickr)

School is back in session now pretty much across the country. The summer holidays are over. Airports will be less crowded with families on vacations and easier to navigate. There’s plenty of hype about Thanksgiving and other holiday travel periods but in the USA it is Fridays in August which typically have the most passengers. That’s all behind us now. I already had one colleague express amazement at the ease with which he could move through the Orlando airport last week and it should be even better next week.

Airfares drop, too. At least for leisure routes. That’s not to say that fares are cheap, but they’re lower than the peak summer fares in many cases. I’ve already started planning more flights to round out the year and couldn’t be more excited about it.

Yes, there’s a real reason for the holiday. But, like many, over the century since it was first celebrated the meaning seems to have morphed for many. It definitely has for me. And I’m completely OK with that.

Hope y’all have a great holiday. I know I am.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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