AAA: Record-breaking Travel Volumes expected July 4th Weekend
From AAA Media Services
Georgians will travel in record numbers for Independence Day. AAA forecasts more than 1.6 million Georgians will take at least one trip of 50 miles or more, between Friday, June 30, and Tuesday, July 4. That’s 68,000 more holiday travelers than the previous record high, set last year.
Road Trips Remain the Preferred Mode of Transportation
Nearly 85% of all travelers will take a road trip. AAA predicts 43.2 million Americans will drive to their destinations. That’s a little over 1 million more people on the road than last year. In Georgia, more than 1.4 million are forecast to take a holiday road trip. That’s over 41,000 more than last year.
Gas Prices to Remain Lower than Last Year’s Holiday
While it’s still too early to know exactly what drivers will pay at the pump this Independence Day, it’s likely to be well below what drivers paid during last year’s holiday period. The Georgia average was $4.31 per gallon on July 4th, 2022. So far this summer, gas prices have been somewhat erratic, but the state average has remained below $3.39 per gallon, thanks to the lower cost of oil.
419,000 more Americans will board a flight
A record-setting 4.17 million Americans will fly to their destinations this Independence Day weekend. That surpasses the previous July 4th weekend air travel record of 3.91 million travelers, which was set in 2019. The share of air travelers in the overall holiday forecast this year is an impressive 8.2% – the highest percentage in nearly 20 years.
An estimated 124,463 Georgians are forecast to fly this year. That’s over 12,000 more than the previous year.
Other modes of transportation are also on the rise this year. AAA expects 3.36 million people will travel by bus, cruise, or train over the long weekend, an increase of 24% over last year. This national figure is not expected to surpass 2019 levels.
Best/Worst Times to Travel and Peak Congestion by Metro
Friday, June 30 is expected to be the busiest day on the roads during the Independence Day holiday weekend, according to INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights. The worst travel times vary by day but are generally in the afternoon and early evening.
Average travel times are estimated to be 30% longer than normal, particularly in major metro areas, near beaches and attractions. To avoid the heaviest congestion, INRIX recommends drivers leave in the morning or after 6 p.m.