Here's how to avoid spending your Fourth of July sitting on the tarmac.
Country flag in airplane tail
Credit: Ugurhan Betin/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A record-breaking 44.2 million Americans are expected to travel this Fourth of July — meaning you’ll need to be extra savvy to steer clear of crowded airports, congested highways, and flight delays.

Tuesday morning, RewardExpert released their 2017 Independence Day Air Travel Forecast, which utilized five years of flight data from the Department of Transportation to determine when and where you should fly to avoid spending your vacation waiting in lines (or sitting on the tarmac).

According to the report, travelers absolutely want to avoid traveling on June 30 and July 1, which will be the worst days to fly in the 10-day period surrounding the Fourth. Historically, the Friday and Saturday before the holiday have the most delays and cancelations.

One of the best days to fly is on the holiday — Tuesday, July 4 — which has fewer delays or cancelations than the days leading up to it.

“There are, on average, 15 percent fewer flights on Independence Day” than the day prior, the reported stated. That means travelers who wait until the last minute will likely benefit from a smoother, less-crowded experience on the ground and in the air.

RewardExpert’s findings also indicated that United Airlines is the worst domestic airline to fly with during this holiday. Based on the historical data, three in every four flights will likely be delayed or canceled.

If you want to ensure that you’ll arrive in time for the backyard barbecue or the fireworks show, stick with a more reliable carrier. Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines were the top three U.S.-based carriers in terms of on-time performance during previous holidays.