Amer­i­cans will take more trips than ever this In­de­pen­dence Day

The Calvert Recorder - Southern Maryland Automotive Trends - - News -

AAA projects nearly 43 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will travel this In­de­pen­dence Day week­end — the high­est July 4 travel vol­ume on record, and 5 mil­lion more trav­el­ers com­pared to Memo­rial Day. The hol­i­day travel pe­riod is de­fined as Thurs­day, June 30 to Mon­day, July 4.

“Spurred by the low­est gas prices since 2005, more peo­ple than ever are plan­ning to travel this In­de­pen­dence Day week­end,” said Mar­shall Doney, AAA president and CEO. “Whether they’re trav­el­ing by car, plane, train or cruise ship, it will be ex­cit­ing to see so many Amer­i­cans cel­e­brat­ing our na­tion’s free­dom with their friends and fam­ily over the long hol­i­day week­end.”

U.S. driv­ers have saved about $20 bil­lion on gaso­line so far this year com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015, which has made travel more af­ford­able than in re­cent years. A more con­fi­dent con­sumer and ris­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity also are off­set­ting a cool­ing la­bor mar­ket to help boost hol­i­day travel.

“We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-break­ing year for sum­mer­time travel,” Doney said. “This trend is wel­come news for the travel in­dus­try and a sign that Amer­i­cans are tak­ing to our na­tion’s high­ways and skies like never be­fore.”

Low gas prices driv­ing travel in­crease

Eighty-four per­cent of hol­i­day trav­el­ers — more than 36 mil­lion peo­ple — will drive to their In­de­pen­dence Day destinations, an in­crease of 1.2 per­cent over last year. Air travel is ex­pected to in­crease 2.2 per­cent over last year, with 3.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans tak­ing to the skies.

Travel by other modes of trans­porta­tion, in­clud­ing cruises, trains and buses, will in­crease 2 per­cent to 3.3 mil­lion trav­el­ers. Most of those trav­el­ers are ex­pected to fill cruise cab­ins and AAA’s hol­i­day cruise book­ings are 35 per­cent higher than last In­de­pen­dence Day.

Driv­ers to pay low­est hol­i­day gas prices in a decade

Low gas prices are mo­ti­vat­ing mil­lions of Amer­i­cans to travel this week­end. Despite re­cent sea­sonal in­creases, gaso­line prices re­main well be­low re­cent years. The na­tional av­er­age price for a gal­lon of gaso­line is $2.31 — 47 cents less than one year ago. AAA ex­pects most U.S. driv­ers will pay the low­est In­de­pen­dence Day gas prices since 2005.

Air­fares, ho­tel rates lower this year

Ac­cord­ing to AAA’s Leisure Travel In­dex, av­er­age air­fares for the top 40 do­mes­tic flight routes will be 9 per­cent less this In­de­pen­dence Day, with an av­er­age roundtrip ticket cost­ing $207. Ho­tel costs have fallen slightly com­pared to last In­de­pen­dence Day. AAA Three Di­a­mond Rated ho­tels will av­er­age $185, while a AAA Two Di­a­mond Rated ho­tel will av­er­age $144 nightly. Daily car rental rates will av­er­age $75.

More than 370,000 mo­torists to re­quest help

AAA ex­pects to res­cue more than 370,000 mo­torists dur­ing the In­de­pen­dence Day hol­i­day travel pe­riod, with the pri­mary causes be­ing dead bat­ter­ies, lock­outs and flat tires. AAA rec­om­mends mo­torists check the con­di­tion of their bat­tery and tires be­fore head­ing out on a road trip.

Down­load the AAA Mobile app be­fore a get­away

Be­fore set­ting out, down­load the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and An­droid. Trav­el­ers can use the app to map a route, find low­est gas prices, ac­cess ex­clu­sive mem­ber dis­counts, make travel ar­range­ments, re­quest AAA road­side as­sis­tance, find AAA Ap­proved Auto Re­pair fa­cil­i­ties and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA’s pro­jec­tions are based on eco­nomic fore­cast­ing and re­search by IHS Global In­sight. The Colorado-based busi­ness in­for­ma­tion provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly an­a­lyze travel trends dur­ing ma­jor hol­i­days. AAA has been re­port­ing on hol­i­day travel trends for more than two decades.

As North Amer­ica’s largest mo­tor­ing and leisure travel or­ga­ni­za­tion, AAA pro­vides more than 56 mil­lion mem­bers with travel, in­sur­ance, fi­nan­cial and au­to­mo­tive-re­lated ser­vices. Since its found­ing in 1902, the not­for-profit, fully tax-pay­ing AAA has been a leader and ad­vo­cate for the safety and se­cu­rity of all trav­el­ers. Mo­torists can map a route, iden­tify gas prices, find dis­counts, book a ho­tel and ac­cess AAA road­side as­sis­tance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and An­droid. Learn more at AAA.com.

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