Getting to your favorite fireworks display or away for the long July 4th weekend could take a little longer this year.
Record travel is expected during the holiday week.
AAA predicts 49 million people will travel for Independence Day. That’s an increase of 4.1 percent from last year or about 2 million more people.
“We are projecting that the travel is going to pick up on Wednesday before the holiday, and in those larger actual areas, you’re going to see travel times from two to four times longer than normal,” says AAA’s Tamra Johnson.
She says the increase in travelers is fueled by a good economy and gas prices almost 20 cents a gallon cheaper than Independence Day last year (except, of course, in California).
The timing of the holiday is another factor.
“Where the holiday actually falls this year is actually allowing more travelers to spend a little additional time at their destination this year,” Johnson notes.
Safety analysts say highway travel around July 4th is different from other holiday travel periods because traffic is more congested.
“There’s a lot of people moving in a short amount of time to get places, and it creates a perfect storm,” says Cambridge Mobile Telematics CEO Bill Powers.
A majority of Americans, about 41 million, will hit the road.
Just under 4 million will fly this holiday, and 3.5 million are expected to travel by train, bus or cruise ship.
AAA says these are the top Independence Day travel destinations:
- Orlando, Florida
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Seattle, Washington
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Anaheim, California
- New York, New York
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Maui, Hawaii
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Chicago, Illinois