In­de­pen­dence Day trav­el­ers to set new record 44.2 mil­lion ex­pected trav­el­ing July 4th week­end

Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

AAA fore­casts more Amer­i­cans will travel this In­de­pen­dence Day than ever be­fore. A record-break­ing 44.2 mil­lion Amer­i­cans (1.3 mil­lion Ge­or­gians) will take to the na­tion’s roads, skies, rails and wa­ter­ways; an in­crease of 1.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans (52,000 Ge­or­gians) from last year’s hol­i­day.

“This In­de­pen­dence Day will be his­toric,” said Vicky Evans, As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent, Travel Sales De­vel­op­ment, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Trav­eler num­bers are up and prices are down, ad­ding to what has al­ready been a bustling sum­mer travel sea­son.

“Travel book­ings at The Auto Club Group are up more than 7% in Ge­or­gia , com­pared to this time last year. The big­gest fac­tors driv­ing growth are low gas prices, strong employment, ris­ing in­comes, and higher con­sumer con­fi­dence; but over­all Amer­i­cans just love to travel, and want to do some­thing fun for this mid-sum­mer tra­di­tion.”

Most-trav­eled sum­mer hol­i­day

The In­de­pen­dence Day hol­i­day travel pe­riod is de­fined as Fri­day, June 30 to Tues­day, July 4. In­de­pen­dence Day is usu­ally the most-trav­eled of the “big 3” sum­mer hol­i­days. While Memo­rial and La­bor Day hol­i­days of­ten at­tract a sim­i­lar num­ber of to­tal trav­el­ers, In­de­pen­dence Day com­monly at­tracts 12-13 per­cent more.

“More peo­ple travel for In­de­pen­dence Day, be­cause it falls in the mid­dle of sum­mer when school is out,” Evans said. “Fam­i­lies can eas­ily plan ex­tended va­ca­tions for this hol­i­day with­out wor­ry­ing about school cal­en­dars.”

By the num­bers: In­de­pen­dence Day travel forecast

- 44.2 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are ex­pected to travel 2.9 per­cent more than last year. 1.3 mil­lion Ge­or­gians are ex­pected to travel 4.2 per­cent more than last year.

- 37.5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will drive 2.9 per­cent more than last year. 1.1 mil­lion Ge­or­gians will drive

- 3.4 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will fly 4.6 per­cent more than last year. 94,000 Ge­or­gians will fly

- 3.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will take other modes of trans­porta­tion 1.4 per­cent more than last year. 69,000 Ge­or­gians will take other modes of trans­porta­tion

Prices are on par or lower than last year

- Air­fares will av­er­age $186 10 per­cent less than last year.

- Daily car rental rates will av­er­age $65 14 per­cent less than last year.

- Ho­tel prices will av­er­age $185 the same as last year.

Gas prices to boost travel num­bers

Gas prices re­main slightly be­low year-ago lev­els, another fac­tor driv­ing the in­crease in trav­el­ers this In­de­pen­dence Day. Dur­ing last year’s hol­i­day, gas prices av­er­aged $2.27 na­tion­wide.

Low oil prices and in­creased pro­duc­tion have kept gas prices com­pet­i­tive with last sum­mer’s rates, which were the low­est since 2004. On Wednes­day, June 21, the na­tional av­er­age price for a gal­lon of gas was $2.28. The Ge­or­gia av­er­age was $2.14. Find to­day’s av­er­age gas prices and ho­tels this In­de­pen­dence Day week­end. Ac­cord­ing to AAA’s Leisure Travel In­dex, av­er­age air­fares for the top 40 do­mes­tic flight routes will be 10 per­cent lower this year, with an av­er­age round trip ticket land­ing at $186. Daily car rental rates will av­er­age $65, which is 14 per­cent less than last In­de­pen­dence Day. Ho­tel costs are the same as last year, with the av­er­age AAA Three Di­a­mond Rated ho­tel cost­ing $185 per night. AAA to res­cue more than 338,000 mo­torists this In­de­pen­dence Day

AAA ex­pects to res­cue more than 338,000 mo­torists this In­de­pen­dence Day week­end, with the pri­mary rea­sons be­ing lock­outs, flat tires and bat­tery-re­lated is­sues. AAA rec­om­mends mo­torists take their ve­hi­cle to a trusted re­pair fa­cil­ity to per­form any needed main­te­nance be­fore head­ing out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, bat­tery tests and tire in­spec­tions go a long way to­ward re­duc­ing the chances of a breakdown. AAA mem­bers get a free 24-point in­spec­tion at ap­proved auto re­pair fa­cil­i­ties (learn more).

Orlando re­mains top desti­na­tion for sum­mer travel

With new at­trac­tions de­but­ing at pop­u­lar theme parks, Orlando claims the num­ber one spot on the list of most-vis­ited lo­cales for 2017 sum­mer travel based on AAA’s sum­mer travel book­ings: 1.Orlando, Florida 2.Van­cou­ver, Canada 3.Can­cun, Mex­ico 4.Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton 5.Punta Cana, Do­mini­can Repub­lic 6.Honolulu, Hawaii 7.Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia 8.An­chor­age, Alaska 9.Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada 10.Mon­tego Bay, Ja­maica About the travel forecast: AAA’s pro­jec­tions are based on eco­nomic fore­cast­ing and re­search by IHS Markit. The Lon­don-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.

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