A record number of U.S. travelers will venture beyond their homes by 50 miles or more this Fourth of July, according to a forecast released Thursday from auto club AAA.
A total of 44.2 million people will take to the roads, skies, rails and waterways to celebrate Independence Day, AAA says.
That’s an increase of 1.25 million travelers over last year, making it the most traveled Independence Day weekend since AAA has been counting. That is a 2.9 percent increase over last year this time.
“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing, said in a written statement.
AAA defines this year’s Independence Day holiday travel period as Friday, June 30, to Tuesday, July 4.
More people will drive to their destinations—37.5 million people, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.
That spike is helped by cheaper gas prices. The national average price for gas is $0.04 less than this time last year. The national average price for a gallon of gas is $2.28, a historic low for the summer travel season.
Daily car rental rates are also lower, averaging $65. That is 14 percent less than last Independence Day.
Planes will be more full this holiday weekend, with 3.44 million passengers, an increase of 4.6 percent over last year.
Travelers can expect lower airfares. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic routes will be 10 percent less this year. The average round trip-ticket is $186.
Cruises, trains and buses will attract another 3.27 million travelers, AAA says. That is a 1.4 percent spike over last year.
Hotel rates remain steady, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $185 per night.
The 20 most popular hotels in Orlando
The most visited destination this year is Orlando. The top 10 destinations are:
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Las Vegas
- Montego Bay