Summer travel shows no signs of slowing down with Independence Day weekend projected to be the second busiest it has been since 2000, according to AAA.
Over 47 million consumers are estimated to travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday weekend, which runs from June 30 to July 4, according to AAA. This is an increase of 3.7% from 2021.
Car travel in particular is estimated to “set a new record” even with high petrol prices, according to AAA. The organization expects that 42 million people will drive on the road over the weekend, up from the 41.8 million people who chose to drive in 2021.
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On Monday, AAA reported that the national average retail price for regular gasoline was $ 4.98 per gallon. However, the national average passed $ 5 per gallon last week.
Interestingly, more than half of Americans surveyed by the AAA in March reported that they would make changes in driving habits or lifestyles if gas prices rose to $ 4 per gallon. If prices reached $ 5, three-quarters of those surveyed said they had to adjust their habits.
“Recent flight problems and ongoing concerns about cancellations and delays” may be the reason for the increase in car travel, AAA reported. “In fact, the proportion of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011.”
|EEL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||12.94||+0.78||+6.41%|
|VALLEY||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||30.26||+0.68||+2.30%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.||36.28||+1.50||+4.31%|
|JBLU||JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP.||8.54||+0.43||+5.30%|
Around 3.55 million people are expected to fly over the weekend and a further 2.42 million people are expected to take a train, bus or hop on a cruise, according to AAA data.
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“Earlier this year, we began to see the demand for travel increase, and it does not decrease,” said AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale.
To date, AAA data shows that bookings for flights, car rentals, cruises, hotels and trips to the most popular domestic destinations during the holiday weekend are already up 60% compared to 2021.
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Estimated cost of travel over the Independence Day weekend
The lowest flight ticket for the weekend is $ 201 on average per ticket. It is already 14% higher than 2021, according to AAA data.
Meanwhile, prices for mid-range hotels increased by around 23%. The average nightly rates for AAA-approved hotels this weekend are $ 244 per night.
The average daily price for rental cars has also continued to rise.
“With more people traveling, these prices continue to rise due to continuing supply chain problems combined with increasing demand,” AAA reported.
Although prices are 34% lower than last year, the average lowest price is still $ 110 per day, which is $ 40 more per day on average than in 2019, according to AAA.
Best and worst travel times
With so many people on the road, INRIX transport analyst Bob Pishue estimates that travel times nationwide could increase by 50% compared to normal times. He also noted that drivers around major metro areas should “be prepared for significantly more delays.”
In fact, AAA said that drivers in major U.S. subways can experience twice as much travel time compared to normal times.
AAA said motorists may face the longest travel delays on the afternoons of June 30 and July 1 due to a combination of commuters leaving work early and holidaymakers.
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“Low congestion” is expected throughout the day Sunday and Monday, according to AAA.
Worst times to travel from Thursday to Saturday
Thursday: 2pm to 8pm EST
Friday: 12:00 to 21:00 EST
Saturday: 2pm to 4pm EST
Best times to travel from Thursday to Saturday
Thursday: Before kl. 07:00 and after kl. 20.00 EST
Friday: Before kl. 10.00 and after kl. 21.00 EST
Saturday: Before noon and after 7pm EST
Meanwhile, AAA booking data showed that July 1 is estimated to be the busiest day for flights during the holiday weekend, and July 4 is estimated to be the easiest.