A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago.
For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long as the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.
“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 Carol DiOrio, vice president of travel at AAA Western and Central New York. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”
In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is helped by Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday.
The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.
By the Numbers: 2018 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast
- Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 39.7 million – will hit the road this Independence Day, 5.1 percent more than last year.
- Planes: A record-breaking 3.8 million people will travel by air, a 7.9 percent increase and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers.
In New York State, 3.3 million people will be traveling for the holiday, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017. A record 2.8 million will be traveling by car and 262,000 by air. 243,000 will be traveling by other modes of transportation.