AAA: July 4 travel expected to be more than previous year despite high gas prices
AAA-Newsroom predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend, even with the national average gas prices going over the $5 mark.
This is an increase of 3.7% over 2021, expected to bring travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019.
Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancellations and delays may be driving this increase. In fact, the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011.
"The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear," said Paula Twidale, senior vice president at AAA Travel. "Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it's not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation."
Drivers should expect the longest travel delays heading into the holiday weekend, particularly during the afternoons on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1 as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Drivers in major U.S. cities could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.
AAA advises to travel on off-peak times or days or pick a hidden gem closer to home. Based on AAA booking data, Friday, July 1 is shaping up to be the busiest day for air travel during the holiday weekend from June 30 to July 4 with Monday, July 4 being the lightest. For those hitting the road, the Thursday and Friday before the holiday are anticipated to be peak traffic days.