ANCHORAGE, Alaska. June 21, 2018. AAA projects a record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to celebrate Independence Day this summer, the highest total since AAA began tracking holiday travel 18 years ago. That’s 5 percent more than the 44 million Americans who traveled for the patriotic celebration in 2017, which was the previous national record.
“Fourth of July is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, but this year is an all-time whopper,” said Michelle Donati, spokesperson for AAA Alaska. “Despite the highest gas prices in four years, more travelers will be taking to the road and the skies next month to celebrate America’s birthday than ever.”
The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 8.
By the Numbers: AAA Independence Day Travel Forecast
•Nearly 47 million Americans are projected to travel this holiday, nearly 2.5 million more than last year.
•Higher fuel prices aren’t slowing drivers down. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Alaska is 55 cents higher than in 2017, but more than 80 percent of travelers are expected to drive to their destination.
•Travelers will pay less for airfare in 2018, but more for car rentals and hotels. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay an average $171 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. That is the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and 9 percent less than last year.
“The current economic landscape including strong employment, rising incomes and consumer confidence is helping to boost the number of planned getaways over the second three-day weekend of the summer,” Donati said.
AAA expects to rescue more than 362,000 motorists across the country over Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. Before heading out of town, AAA recommends drivers take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility for a thorough inspection and perform needed maintenance.
AAA offers a variety of mobile travel resources including AAA Mobile, a free app for Smartphone users. The app uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby discounts, summon roadside assistance, find current gas prices and more. Travelers can learn more about this resource at AAA.com/mobile.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.
AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago. Visit AAA.com.