AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.
"The freedom of summer means families can take extended vacations and, historically, that makes Independence Day the busiest summer travel holiday," said Joy Dixon, Tennessee Director of Travel, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "This is the largest number of Independence Day travelers since the great recession and it is encouraging news for the recovering economy and the travel industry."
Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting more Americans to take a holiday trip this year. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below year-ago levels, which has helped boost Americans' disposable income.
"Motorists are seeing prices lower at the pump than this time last year, which is encouraging families to pay down, put more in savings and travel," said Don Lindsey, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "For the 35.5 million people planning a road trip this Independence Day, they can expect gas prices to be the lowest in at least five years."
Highlights from 2015 Independence Day Travel Forecast
- The 2015 Independence Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 8 years, since 2007.
- The increase in travelers is driven by rising incomes, a strong employment market, and low gas prices.
- Tennessee motorists will likely pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices in at least five years. The state average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.57 yesterday (June 24) - 88 cents lower than the average price for Independence Day last year ($3.45).
- More than 84 percent of travelers (35.5 million) will go by automobile, an increase of 0.7 percent from last Independence Day.
- Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.5 percent to 3.2 million leisure travelers.
- Other modes of transportation will increase 0.5 percent to 3.2 million - 3,000 fewer passengers than air travel.
- Airfares are up 6 percent compared to 2014
- Hotel rates are forecast to be 6-9 percent higher than 2014
What is July 4th:
The Declaration of Independence. We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.