Record High: 47 Million Americans to Travel on Independence Day Holiday

June 21, 2018 Updated: June 21, 2018

As the national Fourth of July holiday comes up, a record number of Americans are expected to hit the roads, rails, and airports this year—even with the higher gasoline prices.

About 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

This number is an increase of more than 5 percent—or nearly 2 million more people—compared to last year, and is the highest number recorded by AAA since it first started tracking the data 18 years ago. The upcoming holiday period this year will be between July 3 to July 8.

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails, and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”

Americans seem happier to spend more as satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States reached 38 percent, the highest level since September 2005, according to a June 18 Gallup poll, marking a 12-year high.

According to Reuters, gas prices have fallen a little since the 2018 high of $2.97 a gallon set over Memorial Day weekend. On Wednesday, the national average gas price was $2.87, up 59 cents from a year ago.

A record 3.76 million passengers will travel by air this upcoming holiday, 7.9 percent more than last year, according to AAA. Travel by train, bus, and cruise ship will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers.

INRIX, a global analytics company in collaboration with AAA, predicted that drivers will experience the worst congestion on July 3 in the late afternoon due to a mix of commuters leaving work early and holiday travelers. AAA said that travel times could double in major metropolitan areas across the United States.


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