AAA: Independence Day Travelers to Set New Record
AAA forecasts more Americans will travel this Independence Day than ever before. A record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways; an increase of 1.3 million Americans from last year’s holiday.
“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Traveler numbers are up and prices are down, adding to what has already been a bustling summer travel season. The biggest factors driving growth are low gas prices, strong employment, rising incomes, and higher consumer confidence; but overall Americans just love to travel, and want to do something fun for this mid-summer tradition.”
Most-Traveled Summer Holiday
The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4. Independence Day is usually the most-traveled of the “big 3” summer holidays. While Memorial and Labor Day holidays often attract a similar number of total travelers, Independence Day commonly attracts 12-13 percent more.
“More people travel for Independence Day, because it falls in the middle of summer when school is out,” Evans said. “Families can easily plan extended vacations for this holiday without worrying about school calendars.”
|By the Numbers: Independence Day Travel Forecast |
Prices are on par or lower than last year
- 44.2 million Americans are expected to travel → 2.9% more than last year
- 37.5 million Americans will drive → 2.9% more than last year
- 3.4 million Americans will fly → 4.6% more than last year
- 3.3 million Americans will take other modes of transportation → 1.4% more than last year
- Gas prices could hit 13-year lows for the holiday
- Airfares will average $186 → 10% less than last year
- Daily car rental rates will average $65 → 14% less than last year
- Hotel prices will average $185 → the same as last year
Holiday Gas Prices Could Hit 13-Year Lows
Gas prices remain slightly below year-ago levels, which is another factor driving the increase in travelers this Independence Day. On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the national average price for a gallon of gas was $2.28; the Nebraska average was $2.23. Last year, motorists in Nebraska paid eight cents more with fuel averaging $2.31 a gallon. Check today's gas price averages here.
"Nebraska motorists are seeing extremely favorable fuel prices as oil prices plunge in response to high production and supply," said Rose White, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "This week, crude oil dropped to $42/barrel - the lowest level in 10 months. As a result, the state average should continue to retreat. Many retailers in Nebraska are offering E15 blends for less than $2 a gallon."
More People Will Drive, Fly and Use Other Modes of Travel
The vast majority of travelers—37.5 million Americans—will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 4.6 percent over last year, with 3.4 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 1.4 percent, to 3.3 million travelers.
Airfares and Car Rental Rates Swing Lower this Independence Day
Travelers can expect lower prices for airfares, car rentals and hotels this Independence Day weekend. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 10 percent lower this year, with an average round trip ticket landing at $186. Daily car rental rates will average $65, which is 14 percent less than last Independence Day. Hotel costs are the same as last year, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $185 per night.
AAA to Rescue More Than 338,000 Motorists this Independence Day
AAA expects to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA members get a free 24-point inspection at approved auto repair facilities (learn more).
Orlando Remains Top Destination for Summer Travel
With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel based on AAA’s summer travel bookings:
To help travelers plan their trips to a top 10 destination, AAA’s team of anonymous hotel and restaurant inspectors recently selected a few of their favorite places to stay and dine.
- Orlando, Florida
- Vancouver, Canada
- Cancun, Mexico
- Seattle, Washington
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Anaheim, California
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
AAA to Reimburse Members up to $1,500 for Emergency Expenses
AAA offers the following tools to assist travelers
- AAA provides a benefit called “Car Travel Interruption Protection” for all of its members.
- Under this benefit, AAA reimburses covered emergency expenses for members who are traveling by car - at least 100 miles away from home - and have a breakdown, accident, or if their vehicle is stolen while en route.
- Reimbursable expenses are covered up to $600 for Classic members, $1,000 for Plus members, and $1,500 for Premier members.
- Covered expenses include: meals and lodging, car rental, and transportation home or to their destination within 72 hours.
- AAA members can find complete information in their membership booklet.
About the travel forecast:
- AAA mobile app - Travelers can use the free app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and review nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.
- GasPrices.AAA.com - Find average national, state and local gas prices; research top gas price trends, and use the "Gas Cost Calculator" to determine how much you can expect to spend on gasoline during your next road trip.
- AAA.com/AutoRepair – Find a AAA approved Auto Repair Facility. Each facility undergoes a comprehensive investigation and meets stringent quality standards. AAA members receive special discounts and benefits when visiting these locations.
- AAA.com/Travel - Book a hotel, flight, rental car, or cruise. Find travel ideas, hot cruise and land deals, review top destinations, purchase discounted attraction tickets, and find TripTik, tour books and Maps.
- AAA.com/TravelerReviews - View ratings and see what other travelers said about cruises and tour vacations they booked through AAA.
- AAA.com/Diamonds - Search over 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.