OMAHA, Neb. — Travel this Independence Day holiday period is expected to reach a record level with nearly 49 million Americans taking trips of 50 miles or more away from home during the five-day holiday period. This is the highest level since AAA began tracking holiday travel 19 years ago.
Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning trips. With a record-high 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile, AAA predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion in the major metro areas on Wednesday, July 3, as commuters mix with holiday travelers. The holiday period runs through Sunday, July 7.
Factors driving the increase in travel include favorable gas prices, low unemployment, robust consumer spending and rising disposable incomes.
The national fuel price average of $2.67 a gallon is 17 cents lower than last year. Daily updates on fuel prices, along with a helpful fuel cost calculating tool for long-distance drives, can be found at www.gasprices.AAA.com.
Independence Day holiday travel, by mode
Automobiles (84.7%): The vast majority of travelers – 41.4 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 4.3% more than last year.
Planes (8.1%): 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3% more than last year.
Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships (7.2%): Travel across these sectors will increase by 0.6% to 3.55 million passengers.