NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Summer travel is in full swing with Independence Day right around the corner.
Although Americans are seeing historically high gas prices at the pump, AAA predicts 47.9 million people will hit the road or take to the skies over the holiday weekend, June 30 to July 4. It’s a 3.7% increase from last year, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019.
“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 of 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.”
Even with the national average for gas prices topping $5 per gallon, AAA expects car travel volume will break the previous record, with 42 million people planning to drive over the holiday weekend.
Recent issues with air travel and concerns of cancelations and delays could be pushing people to hop in a vehicle, AAA said. The share of people traveling by air is forecast to be the lowest since 2011.
Independence Day will be the second busiest since 2000 as travel volumes continue to climb with no signs of slowing down, AAA said.
Travel experts said 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.