More Americans than ever recorded by AAA, nearly 49 million, are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year. Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday. For the record-high 41.4 million Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute, with Wednesday, July 3, the worst day on the roads.
In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest their hard-earned money in travel this summer.
“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” said Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma public and government affairs manager. “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools all out of session, families coast to coast are eager to travel.”
Independence Day holiday travel, by mode
• Automobiles: 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: 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: Travel across these sectors will increase by 0.6% to 3.55 million passengers.