OMAHA – Ranging over the past two decades, this year’s Independence Day will be the second busiest since 2000 as travel volumes continue to trend upwards with no sign of slowing down.
According to a release from AAA, projections for car travel will set a new record during the Independence Day holiday despite historically high gas prices. Over the five-day holiday period, 47.9 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home. Of those, 89%, or 42 million people, will take to the roads.
Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA, said, “the volume of travelers expected over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear. 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.”
While all modes of transportation are forecast to be stronger than last year, the biggest surprise is auto travel. When hitting the roads, travelers will be greeted by the most expensive gas prices for the holiday in history. Pump prices are 64% more expensive than a year ago In late June, the national average is $4.94. The Nebraska average is .20 cents less at $4.74. During recent years, the state average on July 4 was $2.95 (2021), $2.10 (2020), and $2.59 (2019). The previous high was $4.02 in 2008.
Haas added, “traveling by car does provide a level of comfort and flexibility that people may be looking for given the recent challenges with flying. But not all destinations are within driving distance, which doesn’t mean you have to abandon your vacation plans. The best advice we can give travelers is to consider working with a travel agent who can help plan for the unexpected – like a flight cancelation. They are your best advocate.”
Although air travel is forecast to be near 1.5% stronger than last year, domestic traveler volumes are expected to remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancelations and delays are likely the catalyst.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and find AAA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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