Record Independence Day travel is anticipated.
AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday. Domestic travel over the long weekend will increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4th weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.
According to the agency, this July 4th weekend is expected to set a new record for the number of Americans traveling by car for the holiday. AAA expects 43.2 million people will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4% over 2022 and 4% higher than 2019. This summer, gas prices are well below what they were one year ago. The national average for a gallon of regular was $4.80 on July 4th, 2022. Gas prices have remained steady the past couple of months, with the national average hovering around $3.50 to $3.60 a gallon, thanks to the lower cost of oil.
Air travel is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 4.17 million Americans will fly to their destinations Independence Day weekend, an increase of 11.2% over 2022 and 6.6% over 2019. The previous July 4th weekend air travel record of 3.91 million travelers was set in 2019. The share of air travelers in the overall holiday forecast this year is an impressive 8.2% – the highest percentage in nearly 20 years.
Other modes of transportation are also on the rise this year. AAA expects 3.36 million people will travel by bus, cruise, or train over the long weekend, an increase of 24% over last year. While more travelers are turning to these modes this year, the number is not expected to surpass 2019’s total of 3.54 million.