This year a record-breaking number of American travelers are expected to travel on the Fourth of July than ever before. More accurately, more Americans are set to travel this year since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000. AAA has recorded an increase in air travel, automobile travel and travel by trains, buses and cruise ships, with an overall increase in travel volume of 4.1 percent over last year. With millions more people expected in the air and on the road than normal this July 4, plan ahead to ensure you (and your attendees) get to the right place at the right time.
Have We Gotten More Patriotic?
Although an additional 1.9 million people are planning vacations this Fourth of July weekend, we can’t say it is entirely due to a love of country. AAA suggests that the increase could be due to falling gas prices. With a national average of $2.66 (which is expected to drop even lower in the coming weeks)—17 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, families can go visit grandma or head to the beach to celebrate America economically. Additionally, we must remember that the founding fathers decided to sign the Declaration of Independence during school summer holidays (what forethought!) and so students can attend family reunions or party it up in Florida or Hawaii (two of the top destinations this Independence Day.)
What This Means for Your Commute
41.4 million travelers are said to hit the road this Fourth of July, while 3.96 million are expected to fly somewhere and 3.55 million will catch buses, trains or cruise ships to their destinations. Don’t forget that more people flying means longer security lines and more traffic near the airport so encourage your attendees to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.
In preparation for the big day, July 3 is supposed to be one of the heaviest traffic days. Expect your normal commute plus record-breaking numbers of families and holiday-goers—Yikes! Thankfully, AAA has made a chart to warn us of the most congested times and days in various regions, so you can stay off the roads, or at least mentally prepare to spend hours in your car. It’s the perfect time to download all those podcasts you have been meaning to listen to.