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Fourth of July travel expected to be busy despite gas prices

Iowa Gas Prices
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 12:19:33-04

Despite historically high gas prices, AAA expects the Fourth of July travel weekend to be among the busiest in history.

The agency expects 47.9 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for the upcoming holiday, up nearly 2 million from the year before. AAA said this year’s marker will be just shy of the 49 million Americans who traveled in 2019.

While fewer people are expected to fly or use other modes of transportation, there will be more Americans taking to the road. AAA expects 42 million Americans to drive over 50 miles this July Fourth weekend. That’s up from 41.8 million a year ago and 41.5 million people in 2019.

“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “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.”

AAA said that Orlando, Seattle and New York are the top domestic travel destinations for the holiday, while Vancouver, Paris and London will be the most popular international destination for Americans.

Busy travel areas could be prone to congestion for the holiday.

“Even with gas hitting record prices, travelers are still eager to hit the road this summer. We expect nationwide travel times to increase about 50% compared to normal. Drivers around major metro areas must be prepared for significantly more delays,” says Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon.”