FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new report reveals that AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend of June 30 – July 4.
According to a press release from AAA, this is an increase of 3.7% over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019. Car travel is projected to set a new record despite historically high gas prices, with 42 million people hitting the road.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”
Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancelations and delays may be driving the increase in car travel. AAA states that the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011.
“Traveling by car does provide a level of comfort and flexibility that people may be looking for given the recent challenges with flying,” continued Twidale. “But not all destinations are within driving distance, which doesn’t mean you have to abandon your vacation plans. The best advice we can give travelers is to consider working with a travel agent who can help plan for the unexpected – like a flight cancelation. They are your best advocate.”
AAA booking data reveals that big cities and international classics are top destinations this Independence Day. AAA data shows that bookings for air, car rentals, cruises, hotels and tours are up 60% over last year for the top domestic Independence Day destinations and up 252% for international locations.
Drivers should expect the longest travel delays heading into the holiday weekend, particularly during the afternoons on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1 as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Drivers in major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.