AAA: July 4 travel expected to reach 2nd highest travel volume on record

National News

(WWTI) — AAA has released its Independence Day Travel forecast in preparation for the busy summer holiday.

According to AAA, over 47.7 million Americans are predicted to take to the nation’s roads and skies this Fourth of July, forecasting that travel volumes are expected to reach a near full recovery from the pandemic.

As a result, AAA stated that this is expected to be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019, which represents and increase of nearly 40% compared to 2020.

“Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue travel opportunities they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kick-off of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day to follow.”

Additionally, although all modes of travel are expected to see an increased demand for the holiday, road trips will continue to dominate throughout the summer. AAA stated that over 91% of holiday travel will be by car.

Another 620,000 Americans are expected to travel by other modes this Independence Day. This includes by bus, train and the return of cruising.

TotalAutomobileAirOther (Bus, train, cruise)
2021 (Forecast)47.7M43.6M3.5M620,000
2020 (Actual)34.2M32.5M1.3M359,000
2019 (Actual)48.9M41.5M3.9M3.5M
Change (2019 to 2021)-2.5%+5.1%-10.3%-82.5%
Change (2020 to 2021)+39.6%+34.1%+163.8%+72.7%

AAA also released its travel booking data which indicated the top list of Independence Day destinations for Americans in 2021. This includes:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. New York, New York
  8. Atlanta, Georgia
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

The travel booking company also alerted travelers of long delays, specifically for drivers.

“With travelers eager to hit the road this summer, we’re expecting nationwide traffic volumes to increase about 15% over normal this holiday weekend. Drivers around major metro areas must be prepared for significantly more delay,” says INRIX Transportation Analyst Bob Pishue. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon, along with Monday mid-day.”

AAA added the worst corridors and times to travel:

Metro areaCorridorPeak congestion% over normal
AtlantaI-75 N, Jodeco Road to Jenkinsburg RoadFriday, 1:00–3:00PM50%
BostonI-95 S, MA-10 to Sanford RoadMonday, 3:00–5:00PM330%
ChicagoI-90 E, W Roosevelt Road to I-294Friday, 4:00–6:00PM50%
DetroitI-75 N, 12 Mile Road to Oakland StFriday, 3:00–6:00PM50%
HoustonI-10 W, Bernardo Road to Pin Oak RoadSaturday, 8:00–10:00AM50%
Los AngelesI-405 N, I-5 to Jefferson BlvdFriday, 3:00–5:00PM10%
New YorkI-278 E, Bronx River to Williamsburg StThursday, 3:00–5:00PM30%
San FranciscoCA-17 N, Lark Ave to Mt Hermon RoadMonday, 6:00–8:00PM340%
SeattleI-5 S, Capitol Blvd (Olympia) to JBLMFriday, 1:00–3:00PM20%
Washington DCI-95 S, Route 3 to Dumfries RoadThursday, 2:00–4:00PM30%

More tips for Independence Day travelers can be found on the AAA website.

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