Holiday weekends are always busy weekends for travel regardless, but AAA believes that lower gas prices could make this year a record breaking year for travelers for Fourth of July weekend. Gas prices are down 4 cents from last years Independence Day weekend with a national average of $2.28 per gallon. That is also down 7 cents from just last month – and even though gas prices usually rise slightly during holidays like this where more travel is expected it is still supposed to be more affordable to travel than ever before.
There will be an estimated more than 43 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles from home to celebrate this weekend – and that accounts for travel by car, air, railroad, and boat. The travel period for 4th of July weekend is defined by AAA as beginning Friday, June 30 and ending Tuesday, July 4. With gas prices just at and below $2 per gallon (reported as low as $1.69 per gallon) the prices of all travel is expected to drop – with airfare expected to drop 10 percent and the price of car rentals estimated to drop up to 14 percent across the country.
“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend.”
The number of people traveling by car is expected to increase by 2.9 percent over this weekend last year, travelers reaching their destination by air is expected to increase 4.6 percent over last year, and all other modes of transportation (including trains, buses, and cruise ships) should increase by about 1.4 percent. This would lead to an overall increase of roughly 8.9 percent over last year – which is mostly being attributed to the lowered cost in fuel and a slight uptick in employment and income over the last year.
The top destinations for travelers, according to AAA, are Orlando, FL., Vancouver, Canada, Cancun, Mexico, and Seattle, Washington. In Florida, roadway traffic is expected to significantly increase with the influx of tourism and the over 2.3 million Floridians who are expected to travel – many of whom will likely be traveling to places like Orlando, Daytona, Miami, and other major tourism hot-spots within the state.
For those hoping to visit Orlando theme parks and stay at on-site or nearby hotels, hopefully, you made reservations ahead of time and expect to stand in a lot of lines with Orlando being AAA’s number one expected travel destination for the Fourth of July weekend. From the sounds of it people are going to be enjoying the celebration of U.S. Independence with mini-vacations throughout the country – and with a great increase in drivers people need to be alert and prepared while traveling by car for the holiday weekend.
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