Are you ready to travel during this coming 4th of July holiday? You're not the only one, AAA report that nearly 49 million persons are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year.
Based on 19-years of statistics, overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1 per cent when compared to 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.
Tennessee's AAA Public Affairs Director Stephanie Milani saidm, "As Independence Day approaches, more Americans than ever are traveling for the holiday with the vast majority setting out on a road trip. Moreover, a record number of Tennesseans will also travel for the holiday- an increase of 4.7 per cent over last year bringing the expected number of Tennesseans traveling to more than 985,000."
Independence Day holiday travel, by mode
- All Modes:
- Nationwide: 48.9 million; 4.1% increase more than last year
- Tennessee: 985,000; 4.7% increase more than last year
- Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday.
- Nationwide: 41.4 million; 4.3% more than last year
- Tennessee: 892,000; 4.9% more than last year
- Nation-wide: 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3% more than last year.
- Tennessee: 44,000; 5.75 more than last year
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships:
- Nation-wide: Travel across these sectors will increase by 0.6% to 3.55 million passengers.
- Tennessee: 50,000; 1% increase over last year
Record-level drivers equals record-level delays
For the 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3 as commuters mix with holiday travelers. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9%.
Lower gas prices motivating millions of road trippers
With today's national average of $2.66, gas prices are 22 cents less year-over-year and expected to drop even lower into the summer. This is motivating record numbers of travelers to take road trips for the holiday weekend.
"Gas prices have fallen, on average, 18-cents since Memorial Day weekend making it easier for motorists to hit the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday," added Milani. "More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks."
Travelers paying more for July 4 car rentals and airfares
Some of the savings travelers are enjoying from lower gas prices will go toward other travel costs this holiday, which are trending higher. According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, airfares on average are 10% more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5% higher than last year, at $69 daily. Meanwhile, midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.
Top Independence Day travel destinations
Fun-in-the-sun locales like Orlando and Honolulu lead the top 10 the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Independence Day, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York, New York
For those travelers planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the most popular spots for international vacations this Independence Day, with Vancouver, Canada -- a top departure port for Alaskan cruises -- rounding out the top five.
According to Hertz, a 40-year AAA partner, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers renting a car this Independence Day are expected to be Orlando (MCO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO). The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, July 3.
Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.