AAA: Travel Volume for July Fourth Holiday to Rise 4.1% This Year 

Fourth of July road trip

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 49 million Americans are planning to celebrate America's birthday this year with an Independence Day getaway.

Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1 percent over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations, AAA reported.

"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."

Holiday Travel by Mode

Here's a snap shot of 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 since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.
  • Planes: Approximately 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3 percent more than 2018.
  • Trains, buses and cruise ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by less than 1 percent (0.6 percent) to 3.55 million passengers.

Low Gas Prices Motivate Road Trippers

Road trippers are motivated by today's national average of $2.66, which is 19 cents less year-over-year. Into the summer, gas prices are expected to drop lower.

"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."

Record-level drivers = record-level delays

For the 41.4 million Americans driving 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 metro areas, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9 percent.

"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."

Top 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, the top 10 destinations are:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Honolulu
  3. Seattle
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Anaheim, Calif.
  6. New York
  7. Boston
  8. Maui, Hawaii
  9. Anchorage, Ala.
  10. Chicago

For those planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rounding the top five popular spots are: Rome, Italy; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Paris, France; and Vancouver, Canada.