Birmingham, AL – AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.
“This Independence Day, more people will get in their cars, board airplanes, and take buses, trains and cruise ships to celebrate our nation’s freedom with friends and family,” said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama spokesperson. “Students all across the nation are also celebrating freedom from pencils and books, making this an ideal time for a family vacation. Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday for this reason, and more Americans are planning a holiday getaway than any year since 2007.”
Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting more Americans to take a holiday trip this year. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below year-ago levels, which has helped boost Americans’ disposable income.
“Although some consumers are using their recent savings on gas to pay down debt and save, overall, Americans are planning to travel in record numbers,” continued Ingram. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, a welcome sign for the 35.5 million people planning to hit the highways for the holiday.”
All-American road trips remain popular for Independence Day
Nearly 85 percent of travelers (35.5 million) will drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 0.7 percent. Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.5 percent to 3.21 million leisure travelers. Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 0.5 percent this Independence Day, to 3.2 million.
AAA to rescue travelers stalled by a breakdown
AAA expects to rescue nearly 360,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle and check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a holiday getaway. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance when needed.
Lowest Independence Day gas prices in at least five years expected
Despite recent seasonal increases in the price of gas, travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower prices compared to recent years. Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices in at least five years. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.77, which is 91 cents less than the average price on Independence Day last year. The Alabama average price is $2.50 per gallon, which is 93 cents per gallon less than this time last year.
Holiday travel expenses on the rise
Travelers will encounter moderately higher lodging rates and airfares this Independence Day. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is six percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost nine percent more, averaging $195. Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent higher this Independence Day, climbing to $227.
Download the AAA Mobile app before an Independence Day getaway
Before setting out on an Independence Day getaway, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via TripTik Travel Planner. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2015 Independence Day Travel Forecast can be found here.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.