AAA: Record-Setting 71 Million People Expected to Travel Over July 4th Week

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The American Automobile Association (AAA) anticipates that 70.9 million travelers will travel 50 miles or more from their residences during the Independence Day holiday travel period*. In a departure from previous methods, AAA has extended its analysis to encompass the entire week surrounding July 4th, inclusive of the Saturday preceding and the Sunday following the holiday. This projection marks a 5% rise from 2023 figures and an 8% surge compared to 2019, underscoring robust growth in holiday travel participation.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”

AAA forecasts a record 60.6 million people will travel by car during Independence Day week – an increase of 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s figure also exceeds the 55.3 million car travelers seen during the July 4th week in 2019. According to AAA’s car rental partner, Hertz, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are experiencing the highest demand for rentals during the holiday week. The busiest days for picking up rental cars are expected to be Friday, June 28, Saturday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 3.

Gas prices are lower compared to last year’s national average of $3.53. Prices at the pump are expected to keep decreasing until Independence Day. Afterward, they should stabilize and remain fairly steady until after Labor Day, similar to last year. However, the ongoing hurricane season poses a potential risk; any storms affecting oil production and refineries along the Gulf Coast could impact gas prices.

*Independence Day Holiday Travel Period  

The Independence Day holiday travel period for this forecast spans from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7. In the past, this period typically covered just one weekend. This year marks the first time it extends over a longer period, including two weekends. 

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