This Independence Day weekend is set to be the second busiest for travel since 2000 with a record number of Americans planning to hit the road, according to AAA’s holiday travel forecast.
The big picture: Historically high gas prices aren’t expected to stop more Americans from driving, and the holiday weekend road trip is still on for more than 52% of consumers surveyed by The Vacationer.
Driving the news: Recent flight delays and cancellations could be fueling the 0.4% increase in drivers, AAA said, estimating the share of people traveling by air over the holiday weekend will be the lowest since 2011.
- Airlines already know Fourth of July weekend travel will be a mess, Axios’ Joann Muller writes, noting Delta is trying to get customers to rejigger their plans by offering free rebooking to spread out the crush of holiday travel.
What they’re saying: “There is a lot of pent-up COVID-19 demand to travel, so many people are still going to do it on the Fourth of July and this summer despite inflation and gas prices,” Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer, told Axios.
- “Driving offers a flexibility that flying does not, and airfare prices are currently outpacing inflation,” said Jones, an assistant professor of mathematics at Rowan College South Jersey.
- “People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, in a statement.
Gas prices drop ahead of holiday weekend
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by four cents since Monday to $ 4.85, AAA said Thursday.
- Declining oil prices and decreased demand have pushed pump prices lower and as “these trends continue, drivers will likely continue to see relief at the pump,” AAA notes.
- The five states with the largest decreases in their gas price averages are: Wisconsin (-14 cents), Delaware (-14 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Florida (-13 cents) and Ohio (-13 cents).
Best time to travel July 4th weekend
Friday, July 1 is expected to be the busiest day for air travel for the holiday weekend, according to AAA.
- For those driving, Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be peak traffic days, per AAA.
- July 4 is expected to be the lightest for air travel.
By the numbers: So far, Sunday, June 26 was the busiest air travel day of the year, according to the TSA.
Flashback: Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed during the Juneteenth and Father’s Day holiday weekend, Axios’ Rebecca Falconer reports.