AAA: Holiday weekend travel numbers will shatter records

AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend. This represents the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record and a half million more travelers than last year.
The holiday travel period is defined as June 30 to July 4.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.40.32 AM“Independence Day is always the most-traveled holiday of the summer, but this year it will be bigger than ever, primarily because of low gas prices,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO, AAA The Auto Club Group. “Airports will be just as crowded as the roads, because low fuel prices are making it more affordable to fly. If fundamentals remain the same, this could be a record-breaking year for summertime travel.”
U.S. drivers have saved about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, which has made travel more affordable than in recent years. A more confident consumer and rising economic activity also are offsetting a cooling labor market to help boost holiday travel.
Eighty-four percent of holiday travelers – more than 36 million people – will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 2.2 percent over last year, with 3.3 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day.
Despite recent seasonal increases, gasoline prices remain well below recent years. The average price for a gallon of gasoline in North Dakota today is $2.27, which is 46 cents less than one year ago and $1.40 lower than this time in 2014. AAA says North Dakota drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005.
Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses; will increase 2 percent to 3.3 million travelers. Much of that growth is attributed to an increase in cruise bookings. AAA’s holiday cruise bookings are 35 percent higher than last Independence Day.
AAA expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists during the Independence Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop.
Auto traveler totals will set a new record for the third consecutive year
Gas prices are forecast to be the lowest in 11 years
3.43 million air travelers is 17.4 percent above the 2000-2015 average