By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
July 03, 2014

The 4th of July Travel Forecast

People are feeling good. Job numbers are up today; consumer confidence is rebounding. That means more people spending on travel. AAA Travel projects that 41 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend. That's a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The majority are hitting the road, with more 34.8 million driving. But if you’re flying, the goods news is that you probably paid five percent less for your ticket than last year, according to AAA.

Some advice for drivers: A lot of people start heading out right about now so expect heavier traffic from about 6pm tonight through tomorrow.

Your best bet: Google Maps, which now incorporates real-time traffic data from the app Waze. It will tell you how fast the traffic is moving and if there are any upcoming accidents to avoid.

One note: stay safe and drive carefully. Don’t text or use your phone while driving—and definitely don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink.

What to do if your flight is impacted by Hurricane Arthur

The key is stay on top of your flight status. My two favorite resources are FlightAware and FlightStats. Both will send you immediately alerts about your flight status and both have mobile apps that can give you airport conditions—delay status, delay trends, etc. FlightAware has an incredible Misery Map, which will show you how delays and cancellations are trending at airports across the country. FlightStats is amazing for its Flight Availability feature, which will show you if there are seats on any alternate flights out of your destination—key if your flight is cancelled or your going to miss a connection.

Tips for rebooking your flights

Get on the phone and in line. Use FlightStats to see if alternate flights are available. Try using the agents at the airport lounge—can even buy a day pass to gain access. And don’t expect miracles. When weather is impacting your flight, the airline is only responsible for getting you in at a reasonable time.

Travel insurance insights

Unfortunately, it’s too late to buy trip insurance for Hurricane Arthur. You need to purchase 24 hours in advance of a storm being named for it to take effect. But the takeaway here is to be mindful of summer storms—and not just big tropical storms and hurricanes. These big thunderstorms tend to hit in the late afternoon and they wreak havoc on flight schedules. If you’ve invested more money in a trip than you’re willing to lose, trip insurance is worth the small investment. Go to to compare plans, get quotes, and read verified user reviews, so you know what you’re buying.