AAA: July 4th Travel Will Crowd I-75

By | June 21, 2018

AAA: Nearly 47 Million Americans Will Set New Independence Day Holiday Travel Record
Georgia Fuel Prices Continue to Fall 

ATLANTA, Ga. (June 21, 2018) – AAA predicts more Americans will travel for this Independence Day than ever before. A record-breaking 46.9 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home, a 5 percent increase from last year and the most travelers for the holiday since AAA began tracking 18 years ago.

Read the full report here

The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8. For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, Tuesday will be the busiest day. INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long as the normal trip.

“We are already seeing a busy summer travel season and Independence Day will be no exception,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Consumers remain confident in the economy and have additional disposable income to put toward a summer getaway.”

In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is aided by Independence Day landing on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday.

By the Numbers: 2018 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Total Travelers:
    • U.S. – 46.9 million Americans will travel for Independence Day, 5.3 percent more than last year.
    • Georgia – Nearly 1.4 million Georgians will travel for during the holiday weekend. The 5.8 percent increase represents 75,000 more travelers than last year.
  • Automobiles:
    • U.S. – 39.7 million will take a road trip – a 5.1 percent increase from last year.
    • Georgia – Over 1.2 million Georgians will take a road trip. The 5.7 percent increase represents nearly 65,000 more Georgians who will be on the road.
  • Planes:
    • U.S. – A record-breaking 3.8 million people will travel by air, a 7.9 percent increase and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
    • Georgia – 105,000 Georgians will fly to their destination(s). The 7.4 percent increase represents 7,100 more air travelers than last year.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships:
    • U.S. – Travel across these sectors will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers.
    • Georgia – 78,000 Georgians will travel via train, bus, and/or cruise. The 5.6 percent increase represents a growth of 4000 more passengers than last year.

Gas Prices Moving Lower into Independence Day
Motorists will find the most expensive Independence Day gas prices in 3-4 years. Last year’s holiday, the average price was $2.07 in Georgia and $2.23 nationwide. On July 4, 2015, gas prices averaged $2.65 in Georgia and $2.77 nationwide. During the 2014 holiday, a gallon of regular averaged $3.57 in Georgia and $3.66 nationwide.

On Wednesday, prices at the pump averaged $2.73 in Georgia and $2.88 nationwide.  Fortunately, fuel prices are falling. Since peaking at $2.97 Memorial Day weekend, the national average declined 9 cents.

“Declining gas prices will give Americans one more reason to celebrate this Independence Day,” said Garrett Townsend, Public Affairs Director- GA, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “After paying some of the highest gas prices in more than three years, this break couldn’t come at a better time, as Americans prepare for the most-traveled holiday of the summer.”

Drivers Beware: Terrible Tuesday

INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst congestion over the holiday week on Tuesday, July 3 in the late afternoon – as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Travel times could increase two-fold in the major metros across the U.S., with drivers in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. experiencing the most significant delays.

“With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” says Scott Sedlik, general manager and vice president – public sector, INRIX. “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. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”

 

Worst Days/Times to Travel

Metro Area

Worst Day for Travel

Worst Time for Travel

Delay Multiplier of Normal Trip

San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, July 3

3:00 – 6:00 PM

1.7x

Seattle, WA

Tuesday, July 3

3:00 – 6:00 PM

1.8x

Detroit, MI

Tuesday, July 3

3:30 – 5:30 PM

1.6x

Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, July 3

3:30 – 5:30 PM

2x

Boston, MA

Tuesday, July 3

3:30 – 6:30 PM

1.8x

New York, NY

Tuesday, July 3

3:30 – 6:30 PM

2.3x

Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, July 3

4:00 – 6:00 PM

1.6x

Chicago, IL

Tuesday, July 3

4:00 – 6:00 PM

1.7x

Washington, DC

Tuesday, July 3

4:00 – 6:00 PM

2.1x

Houston, TX

Tuesday, July 3

4:30 – 6:30 PM

1.8x

Source: INRIX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Parks and Europe are Major Draws this Independence Day
This Independence Day, travelers will flock to theme parks in Orlando and southern California, while many others are heading west. Alaska cruises departing from Seattle, Anchorage and Vancouver round out the top five U.S. travel destinations for the holiday. For those venturing overseas, Europe is a major draw, with Rome, London, Dublin and Paris all making the list of top international travel destinations for Independence Day.

 

Top Domestic Travel Destinations Top International Travel Destinations
  1. Orlando, Florida
  1. Rome, Italy
  1. Anaheim, California
  1. London, England
  1. Seattle, Washington
  1. Dublin, Ireland
  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  1. Vancouver, Canada
  1. Honolulu, Hawaii
  1. Paris, France


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