Record 47 million expected to travel for U.S. July Fourth holiday, says AAA

A record-breaking number of Americans will hit the roads, rails and airports this Fourth of July holiday, according to the country’s largest automotive advocacy group on Thursday.

According to the American Automotive Association (AAA), 46.9 million Americans will travel 80km (50 miles) over the upcoming Independence Day holiday, making it the fifth consecutive annual increase and the highest travel volume since the group bean tracking travel data 18 years ago.

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts that travel times in the most congested U.S. cities could become twice as long as normal. Also, the Tuesday before the holiday will be the busiest day. “This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a written statement.

One of the reasons for the increase is this year’s travel is that the holiday falls on a Wednesday, giving people the flexibility to take a long weekend before or after. This year’s Independence Day holiday period runs from Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

Since the 2018 high of $2.97 a gallon—set over Memorial Day in the last weekend of May—gas prices have fallen slightly. The national average gas price on Wednesday as $2.87, an increase of 59 cents from a year ago

Despite the hike in prices, majority of travelers—39.7 million – will drive to their destinations this Independence Day, rising5.1 percent or nearly 2 million more than last year. One reason for this could be because moving around a new city in a private car with just you and your family in it is much better than travelling in a bus with a large number of folks.

Getting a reliable car rental service would be quite important this holiday and makes car hire quite easy. You get to find the best price in car rental worldwide and about 30,000 pickup locations in all major airports and also downtown. Their Customer Care Team is available 7 days of the week, so if your plans change you’re not left stranded. They equally offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before your pickup time with most of their suppliers and there’s zero charge on credit card fees.

However, more travellers would look to spend from ‘additional disposable income’ this holiday.

“Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season," said Sutherland.

Air travel volume will increase to a record-breaking 3.76 million passengers, 7.9 percent more than last year. It’s the ninth consecutive year that air travel volume will increase.

U.S. gasoline demand, which accounts for roughly 10 percent of global demand, hit record highs last year thanks in part to a strong summer driving season.

Another 3.5 million American will travel by train, bus or cruise ship, which is a 5.8 percent year-over-year increase.

However, for drivers, commutes will be worse in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

“Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road,” said Scott Sedlik, general manager and vice president for the public sector of INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Accounting for roughly 10 percent of global demand, U.S. gasoline demand hit record highs last year owing in part to a strong summer driving season.