Nearly 2 million more travelers than last year plan holiday getaway

26 June 2019

More Americans than ever are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year.

According to AAA projections, nearly 49 million people will travel over the five-day holiday period, a 4.1-percent increase over last year and the 6th consecutive year of travel growth.

In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest in travel this summer.

Travel Modes

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 41.4 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 4.3 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3 percent more than last year.
  • Other: Travel by trains, buses and cruise ships will increase by 0.6 percent to 3.55 million passengers.

Busiest Day

For the 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3, as commuters mix with holiday travelers. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9 percent.

Gas Prices

With today’s national average of $2.68, gas prices are 16 cents less year-over-year and expected to drop even lower into the summer. This is motivating record numbers of travelers to take road trips for the holiday weekend.

Stranded Motorists

AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday with dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts being the top problems. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip.

 

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Methodology:

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2019 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

About AAA:

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.