Posts Tagged ‘4th of july’

Nearly 2 million more travelers than last year planning July 4 getaways, according to AAA

Julie Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 25, 2019) – More Americans than ever recorded by AAA, nearly 49 million, are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year. (AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.) Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday. For the record-high 41.4 million Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute, with Wednesday, July 3 the worst day on the roads.

Additional Resources

In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest their hard-earned money in travel this summer.

“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much loved family road trip and this year 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.”

Independence Day holiday travel, by mode

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 41.4 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 4.3% more than last year.
  • Planes: 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3% more than last year.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 0.6% to 3.55 million passengers.

Record-level drivers equals record-level delays

For the 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3 as commuters mix with holiday travelers. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9%.

“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.”


Region Worst Day for Travel Worst Time for Travel Delay Multiplier
Atlanta Friday, July 5 5:00 – 7:00 PM 2.5x
Boston Friday, July 5 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 3.4x
Chicago Friday, July 5 1:00 – 3:00 PM 2x
Detroit Wednesday, July 3 2:00 – 4:00 PM 2x
Houston Thursday, July 4 1:00 – 3:00 PM 3x
Los Angeles Wednesday, July 3 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM 2.7x
New York Wednesday, July 3 1:45 – 3:45 PM 3.8x
San Francisco Wednesday, July 3 1:30 – 2:30 PM 2.5x
Seattle Thursday, July 4 12:00 – 2:00 PM 3x
Washington, DC Sunday, July 7 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM 2.4x


Lower gas prices motivating millions of road trippers

With today’s national average of $2.66, gas prices are 19 cents less year-over-year and expected to drop even lower into the summer. This is motivating record numbers of travelers to take road trips for the holiday weekend.

“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 Fourth holiday,” said AAA gas price expert Jeanette Casselano. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”

Travelers paying more for July 4 car rentals and airfares

Some of the savings travelers are enjoying from lower gas prices will go toward other travel costs this holiday, which are trending higher. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares on average are 10% more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5% higher than last year, at $69 daily. Meanwhile, midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.

Top Independence Day travel destinations
Fun-in-the-sun locales like Orlando and Honolulu lead the top 10 the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Independence Day, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Anaheim, California
  6. New York, New York
  7. Boston, Massachusetts
  8. Maui, Hawaii
  9. Anchorage, Alaska
  10. Chicago, Illinois

For those travelers planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the most popular spots for international vacations this Independence Day, with Vancouver, Canada — a top departure port for Alaskan cruises — rounding out the top five.

According to Hertz, a 40-year AAA partner, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers renting a car this Independence Day are expected to be Orlando (MCO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO). The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, July 3.

AAA to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists
AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. Additionally, before hitting the road, motorists need to be prepared for emergencies by taking along a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.

AAA reminds travelers that it’s not too late to plan an Independence Day trip. Visit to get started.


AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2019 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

About AAA:

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

Michael Green Contact Tile






(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015)

Americans Have Saved $65 Billion on Gas During First Six Months of the Year

  • Lower prices have helped Americans save about $65 billion on gas so far this year, compared to the first six months of 2014, which is more than $530 for every U.S. household on average. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.77 per gallon, which is the lowest average for this date since 2010 and about 91 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
  • “It is much easier for a driver to take a summer road trip knowing that they have saved hundreds of dollars on gas so far this year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “The gas savings should continue for the rest of the summer, which could help motivate millions of Americans to travel.”
  • AAA expects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Independence Day, which is the highest total since 2007. About 35.5 million people will travel by car for the holiday. Most drivers should pay the lowest gas prices for Independence Day in at least five years.
  • S. gas prices have averaged $2.45 per gallon this year, which is the cheapest average for the first six months since 2009. During the first six months of 2014, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon.
  • Americans are driving more this year due to lower gas prices and a stronger economy. Gasoline demand for the first six months of the year is up about three percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to initial estimates by the Energy Information Administration. Summertime demand is even higher with the current four-week average about 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Gas prices averaged $2.78 per gallon in June, which was the lowest average for the month since 2010. By comparison, the average price of gas in June 2014 was $3.67 per gallon.
  • Gas prices remained relatively steady in June with the national average finishing the month only about three cents per gallon higher than at the beginning of the month. U.S. average gas prices are about 74 cents per gallon higher than the lows in late January.
  • Average U.S. prices reached a 2015 high of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. If this remains the highest average of the year, it would be the cheapest peak price since 2009.
  • The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil remained stable in June with the price settling within a relatively narrow range of $58.00-$61.26 per barrel, which has helped to prevent significant changes in the national average price of gasoline.
  • The average price of diesel is only eight cents per gallon more than gasoline today. The difference between gasoline and diesel reached its most narrow point since 2009 in June, due in part to a late peak in gas prices and seasonal factors that help reduce the cost of diesel in the summer. In January, the average price of diesel was 90 cents more expensive per gallon than gasoline.
  • Gasoline costs less than in recent years because of significantly lower crude oil costs. Crude oil remains about $50 per barrel cheaper than the highs reached in summer 2014.


Gas Prices May Drop this Month Due to Rising Production

  • The national average price of gas is likely to remain less than $3 per gallon this year, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future direction of prices. It is possible that gas prices this month will drop or at least remain relatively flat in the near term as gasoline production increases to take advantage of high profit margins. Oil prices similarly should remain near current levels given that domestic, commercial supplies are about 19 percent higher than a year ago. Nevertheless, factors such as strong summertime demand or other unexpected events could send gas prices higher.
  • “Drivers are hoping that history repeats last year’s dramatic selloff in gas prices during the second half of the summer,” continued Ash. “There is real possibility that gas prices will drop this month as millions of Americans hit the roads for their summer vacation.”
  • Fuel demand is likely to be a key factor in whether gas prices drop or increase this summer. July and August are generally the two months with the highest level of U.S. driving, which could affect supplies and prices. If gasoline stocks decline due to strong demand, it is likely that gas prices will rise. Demand generally drops significantly after Labor Day, which leads to lower gas prices in the fall.
  • There are a number of unexpected factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today, such as increased fighting in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or strong Atlantic hurricanes that disrupt refinery production.
  • Two international events taking place this week could help lower petroleum prices this year. First, negotiators are working on an Iranian nuclear deal, which could lead to abundant supplies of Iranian crude oil entering the markets later this autumn. Second, the effects of Greece defaulting on its debts could weaken the global economy and reduce fuel demand. Similarly, problems in Europe could lead to a stronger dollar, which generally results in lower oil prices.
  • It can be relatively common for gas prices to increase in July as more Americans take long, summer road trips. For example, gas prices increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon during the month from 2011-2013.
  • Average U.S. gas prices in July 2014 dropped for 30 out of 31 days for a total of 16 cents per gallon, due to abundant petroleum supplies worldwide. This decline was the start of an eventual $1.65 per gallon drop through January.


Alaska Tops Most Expensive States for Gas for the First Time Since 2011

  • Alaska because the most expensive state for gas in the country on June 27 for the first time since 2011. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($3.48), California ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.38), Washington ($3.20) and Nevada ($3.19).
  • The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.48), Alabama ($2.50), Arkansas ($2.50) and Tennessee ($2.54).
  • About 13 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for more than $3 per gallon. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price. About 15 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon, which is about half as many as a month ago.
  • The most common price in the country today is $2.599 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.


One-in-Three Americans Doubt Accuracy of Fuel Economy Ratings

  • A recent AAA survey found that 1-in-3 Americans do not believe the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new-vehicle window stickers accurately reflect real-world fuel economy.
  • AAA’s comprehensive analysis of fuel economy data submitted to the EPA’s website revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers reported fuel economy higher than the combined city and highway EPA mileage rating for their vehicle.
  • AAA independently tested three vehicles that were frequently reported as failing to achieve the EPA fuel economy and determined the EPA mileage ratings were accurate.
  • AAA concludes that driving behaviors, vehicle condition, driving environment and terrain are likely responsible for most deviations from EPA ratings that consumers experience.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082,

Overall travel up 4.9 percent from Independence Day holiday period last year, mid-week holiday contributes to volume increase and affords travelers more departure day options

ORLANDO, Fla., (June 19, 2012)AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 4.9 percent increase over the 40.3 million people who traveled last year.  The expected 2012 Independence Day holiday travel volume will tie the past decade’s previous high mark set in 2007 and represents a near 42 percent increase from 2009. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in driving holiday travel volume as the mid-week holiday expands the traditional five-day travel period to six days and provides the option of including a weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday.   When asked about day of departure, fifty-four percent of people intending to travel this holiday plan to begin their trip prior to the start of the work-week that includes July 4. Response percentages by trip departure day are:


  • 25 percent – Friday, June 29
  • 16 percent – Saturday, June 30
  • 13 percent – Sunday, July 1
  • 11 percent – Monday, July 2
  • 19 percent – Tuesday, July 3
  • 16 percent – Wednesday, July 4

“AAA’s projection for a decade high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “This is the second holiday this year where travelers indicated a determination to travel while economizing by actively seeking value-added travel options and activities.”

“A healthy travel industry is critical to the overall well-being of our economy and consistent increases in travel are encouraging,” added Sutherland.


Additional Resources


Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

The price of gasoline is another factor expected to play a role in spurring intentions to travel this Independence Day holiday period.  On April 6, motorists experienced a year-to-date peak average price of $3.94 per gallon for regular gasoline.  The current national average price of regular gasoline is $3.50 per gallon, 44 cents lower than the April peak and 16 cents less than this time last year.


Automobile travel up four percent, highest auto travel volume in past decade

Approximately 35.5 million people plan to travel by automobile setting the high-water mark for the decade, as 84 percent of all Independence Day holiday travelers choose this traditionally dominant mode of transportation.  This is a four percent increase over the 34.1 million people who traveled by auto last year.


Number of air travelers expected to increase by over nine percent, airfares unchanged

Slightly more than 3.2 million leisure travelers (eight percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the Independence Day holiday period, a more than nine percent increase over the 2.9 million air travelers in 2011.  This year’s increase is the third consecutive year of rising Independence Day holiday air travel volume, following the decade low 1.4 million air travelers in 2009.

Airfares are flat year over year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $200 for the top 40 U.S. air routes in both 2011 and 2012, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.  A longer holiday period and stable airfares are spurring this increase.

The remaining eight percent of holiday travelers are expected to use other modes of transportation, including rail, bus and cruise ship, accounting for 3.6 million travelers – a 10 percent increase over last year and the second highest volume in the past ten years.


Travelers to experience increases in hotel rates, decreases in car rental rates

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Independence Day holiday hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $164 per night compared to $157 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay nine percent more at an average cost of $120 per night.  Weekend daily car rental rates will average $40, a nine percent decrease from one year ago.


Average travel distance increases

According to a survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Independence Day holiday weekend is expected to be 723 miles, up 150 miles from last year’s average 573 miles.  The increase in expected air travel is a factor in lifting the average travel distance as air trips typically span a longer distance than automobile trips.  The survey found that the share of holiday trips in excess of 1,500 miles increased to 18 percent from last year’s 10 percent share, while the share of trips shorter than 250 miles decreased to 28 percent from 35 percent a year ago.


Median spending down seven percent, travelers continue to economize

Median spending is expected to be $749, a seven percent decrease compared to the expected median spending of intended holiday travelers ($807) in 2011.

The Independence Day holiday traditionally involves spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors and participating in celebrations highlighted by fireworks. This year’s survey of intended travelers found that the economizing travel consumer behavior reported in AAA’s Memorial Day travel forecast will continue over the Independence Day holiday period.  Lower spend activities like visiting family and friends and sightseeing are expected to increase up to four percent, while shopping and entertainment will decrease by as much as nine percent.


AAA offers mobile travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at Choose from city titles, like Orlando, New York and the award-winning Las Vegas, as well as National Parks.

Free AAA apps for iPhone and Android devices use GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby member discounts and find current gas prices. Travelers can learn about AAA apps and AAA Mobile Web at

Travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s digital travel planning tools or online at Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2012 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at


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