AAA is projecting a record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year.
AAA says the latest projection is the highest number since the organization began tracking the data 18 years ago.
For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long than the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.
“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”
AAA said a stable economy is helping boost the expected increase in travelers this coming Independence Day, which is helped this time around by the holiday falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday. AAA defines the 2018 Independence Day holiday period as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.
According to AAA, most travelers will be traveling by automobile – 39.7 million – which is 5.1 percent more than last year. An estimated 3.8 million people will travel by plane, a 7.9 percent increase and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
Trains, buses and cruise ship travel will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers, AAA said.