America is truly ready for an Independence Day vacation, according to AAA’s new July 4th Travel Report.
The report estimates an astonishing 46.9 million Americans are planning to travel 50 miles or more away from their homes for the 4th of July holiday. That's a 5-percent increase from last year.
“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,” Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a statement. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”
According to AAA, the increase in travel may also be due to the fact that the holiday falls on a Wednesday, meaning people can travel both the weekend before and after July 4th.
If you’re planning to travel during the week, you may want to try to head out on your vacation a bit early. According to INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, the busiest day to hit the road will be Tuesday, July 3rd. At that time, travel times on the road could be twice as long as normal thanks to the fact that most people – 39.7 million – will be traveling by car.
“With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” Scott Sedlik, general manager and vice president - public sector, INRIX, said in a statement. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”
If you’re flying, you’re not getting off any easier: An estimated 3.8 million people will travel by air. Why the increase in air travel? AAA notes travelers will pay an average of $171 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. That price marks the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years.
If you haven’t made July 4th plans yet, just read up on the best beaches in the U.S. for celebrating the 4th of July and start planning a red, white, and blue celebration today.