According to AAA, there will be a 4.9% increase in holiday travel compared to last year with 42.3 million Americans planning to travel 50 miles or more during the Independence Day holiday weekend.
With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday, the traditional five-day travel period for the holiday is expanded to six days. Travelers this year have the option to include two weekdays and a weekend as part of their vacation. In fact, 54% of travelers intend to begin their trip between June 29 and July 1.
Gas prices are 16 cents lower than they were last year driving 35.5 million people to travel by car, a 4% increase from 2011. Car rental rates decreased from last year to an average $40 per day, as well.
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares have remained the same for the 3.2 million travelers flying to their destination this year. Hotel rates increased from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $164 per night compared to $157 last year.
“AAA’s projection for a decade high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” said AAA Travel Services VP Bill Sutherland. “This is the second holiday this year where travelers indicated a determination to travel while economizing by actively seeking value-added travel options and activities.”