June 29, 2016

Nearly 43M Travelers Expected During Independence Day Weekend

Low gas prices have spurred an increase in holiday travel, according to AAA. - stock photo

Low gas prices have spurred an increase in holiday travel, according to AAA.

stock photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend; representing the highest fourth of July travel volume on record.

The motoring and leisure travel organization projects 1,012,216 Indiana residents will travel during the holiday, a 1.3 percent increase from one year ago. Of those, 890,842 will go by automobile (up 1.2 percent), while 44,776 will fly, a .2 percent decrease).

The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, June 30 to Monday, July 4.

AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney says low gas prices have spurred the travel plans. U.S. drivers have saved approximately $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, which has made travel more affordable than in recent years. A more confident consumer and rising economic activity also are offsetting a cooling labor market to help boost holiday travel.

"We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel,"  Doney said.

Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Independence Day

Eighty-four percent of holiday travelers - more than 36 million people - will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 2.2 percent from what it was one year ago, with 3.3 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day.

Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase two percent to 3.3 million travelers. Most of those travelers are expected to fill cruise cabins and AAA's holiday cruise bookings are 35 percent higher than last Independence Day.

Drivers to pay lowest Independence Day gas prices in more than a decade

Low gas prices are motivating millions of Americans to travel this Independence Day. Despite recent seasonal increases, gasoline prices remain well below recent years. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005.

Airfares and hotel rates lower than last Independence Day

According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9 percent less this Independence Day than in 2015, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $207. Hotel costs have fallen slightly compared to last Independence Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $185, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $144 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $75, 6 percent more than last year.

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