Labour Day, plan ahead, be safe on the road

Most people associate Labour Day with a chance to gather with family and friends for one last summer hurrah.

  • Aug. 31, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Despite the name, many Canadians don’t labour much on Labour Day.

Rather, the federal holiday pays homage to working men and women, and has done so since 1894.

Most people associate Labour Day with a chance to gather with family and friends for one last summer hurrah.

This year Labour Day falls on Monday, Sept. 3 and will mark the unofficial end to the summer season for Canadians in the 10 provinces and three territories.

The last big travel weekend of the summer, Labour Day weekend witnesses many Canadians taking to the roads in search of their final adventure before school begins anew or business returns to normal hours after the relaxed summer season.

Rural destinations typically notice a spike in tourism come Labour Day weekend. Savvy travelers know to plan ahead before embarking on a Labour Day weekend getaway.

Although many people like to get a jump-start on travel plans by leaving early, this practice has grown more commonplace, so leaving early no longer guarantees less traffic. One way to beat traffic is to do the majority of your driving in the evening.

And because the scores of vacationers will be rushing back for work and school in time for Tuesday morning, you may want to consider leaving early Labour Day morning or the night prior to beat the traffic home. Doing so means planning the majority of your festivities for the weekend instead of Labour Day itself.

Because Labour Day is a recognized holiday, bank and government offices will be closed. Some stores or restaurants may be working on holiday hours, as will public transportation. Knowing this in advance can help you plan accordingly.

Despite Labour Day being a holiday in both Canada and the United States, border points between the countries will still be staffed. Therefore, if you’re traveling between the two countries, be sure to have all proper documentation with you and at the ready.

If yours is a long trip, be sure to bring adequate refreshments with you. This will reduce the need to stop at rest stops and pay premium prices for food. Take-along-snacks are also more healthy because they allow drivers to choose healthy snacks as opposed to roadside fare, which is typically fast food.

Be sure to also pack activities for children to keep them occupied.

Finally, remember to be safe on the road. Each year many drivers in B.C. find out that traffic hazard increase on long weekends.

Stay alert, stay focused and stay safe.


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