According to a recent report by AAA, more Americans than ever are making plans to embark on an Independence Day Getaway this year. More than 48.9 million Americans are expected to be planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday, an increase of about 4.1% over last year, or 1.9 million people.
“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much-loved family road trip, and this year, it will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast-to-coast are eager to travel.”
Recently, there has been more robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes, which are all encouraging consumers to invest more of their hard-earned money in travel this summer. The surge of Americans expected to hit the road in the coming weeks could be due to lower gas prices, as well.
“Gas prices are, on average, 17 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July 4th holiday,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA’s gas price expert. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”
Those seeking to hit the road in the coming weeks should be aware of some potentially serious traffic delays. INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts that the record-high 41.4 million Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, could face delays as much as four times that of a normal commute, with July 3 forecasted to be the worst day to be on the roads.
“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around our major metros,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, hands down, Wednesday afternoon will be the worst time to be on the road.”
And for large cities like New York, Boston and Seattle, travelers can expect traffic delays up to 3-4 times longer than average.