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AAA: More than 47 million Americans set to travel this Fourth of July weekend

It's nearly a 40% increase in travelers compared to last year
July Fourth Travel
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 15:20:20-04

It seems Fourth of July travel is back in the United States.

More than 47.7 million Americans are expected to take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day weekend, a nearly 40% increase in travelers compared to last year, according to the American Automobile Association, otherwise known as AAA.

In fact, AAA predicts it will be the second-highest Fourth of July travel volume on record, trailing only 2019.

Road trips dominated vacations during the height of the pandemic last year and AAA says they will continue to do so this summer. The organization estimates that over 91% of holiday travel will be by car, despite the U.S. seeing the highest gas prices in seven years.

AAA says the national average for gas will likely remain above $3 per gallon.

“Higher gas prices won’t deter road trippers this summer. In fact, we’re expecting record-breaking levels of car travel this July Fourth,” said Jeanette C. McGee, AAA spokesperson. “Though prices will remain above $3 a gallon, travelers are likely to look for more free activities or eat out less, but still take their vacations as planned.”

And it’s not just the roads that will see a high number of travelers. AAA believes air travel will reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels over the weekend, with 3.5 million people planning to fly somewhere this Independence Day.

AAA says these are the top travel destinations for the Fourth of July weekend:

  • Orlando, FL
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Kahului, Maui, HI

If you plan on traveling over the holiday weekend, AAA says you should prepare for higher prices for hotels and car rentals because demand has climbed. Mid-range hotel rates have increased between 32% and 35%, according to AAA, and daily car rental rates have increased 86% compared to last Independence Day.