Americans will take more trips than ever this Independence Day
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.