AAA: 47 million Americans will travel on the weekend of July 4 – On Common Ground News

Peak congestion expected Thursday, July 1, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

ATLANTA, Georgia– Travel continues to rebound after yearlong pandemic. AAA predicts that Independence Day travel volumes will be the second highest on record, near peaks reached in 2019.

More than 47.7 million Americans will take at least one domestic trip on Independence Day (July 1-5). This is an increase of almost 40% from last year, but only 2.5% less than the 2019 holiday weekend.

Travel figures to Georgia are also rebounding from a year ago. Almost 1.5 million Georgians are expected to take a trip over the holiday weekend. This is the second record on record, and 33% more than the 2020 holiday period.

“Travel is back this summer, as Americans look forward to a vacation they’ve postponed for a year and a half,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We saw a strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and early summer, and all indications are now pointing to a busy Independence Day.”

Georgia Independence Day Travel Figures
Total Auto Air Other
2021 1 463 078 1,350,692 99,154 13 232
2020 1,097,625 1,049,476 39 810 8 339
2019 1,484,972 1,293,920 111,079 79,973
Change 2020-2021 33% 29% 149% 59%
Change 2019-2020 -26% -19% -64% -90%

Road trips to reach records

While all modes of travel will experience increased demand on Independence Day, car travel continues to dominate this summer. Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, over 91% of vacation trips will be by car.

43.6 million Americans (1.4 million Georgians) are expected to visit their destinations, the highest on record for the holiday and 5% more than the previous record set in 2019.

“Road trips provide a feeling of freedom and more control over the length of your trip,” said Garrett Townsend, Ga public affairs manager, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Even higher gas prices are unlikely to deter Americans from this road trip that many have been waiting for more than a year. On the contrary, motorists are more likely to cut back on other expenses, such as accommodation and restaurant meals, to offset the higher cost of fuel. “

Gas prices are the most expensive since 2014

The 1.4 million Georgians expected to travel by car on Independence Day can expect to find the most expensive gasoline prices since 2014.

AAA members can save on gasoline by joining the Fuel Rewards at Shell program. Save 30 cents a gallon on your first full tank at Shell when you sign up between July 1 and August 31, 2021. Sign up now at

Air travel takes off

With 3.5 million people planning to fly, air travel volumes on Independence Day will reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels and increase 164% from last year.

On average, air fares for the holiday season have fallen by 2% compared to the last Independence Day. The lowest average price per ticket is $ 175. That’s $ 4 less than last year and $ 13 less than the 2019 holiday weekend.


Another 620,000 Americans are expected to travel by other modes on Independence Day, an increase of over 72% from last year, but 83% less than in 2019. This includes travel by bus and by train, as well as the return from the cruise. Cruise lines have announced the resumption of limited departures from US ports from the end of June.

“AAA is so excited for the return of the cruise and our travelers are too,” continued Haas. “AAA travel counselors have seen an increase in demand for cruises and cabins fill up quickly. While cruise lines have made tremendous strides in ensuring the safety of their crew and passengers, traveler requirements can vary depending on who you are sailing with and where you want to go. This is also true for many facets of the journey at this time. For this reason, we strongly encourage travelers to work with a travel agent, who can help you stay informed and find the trip that’s right for you.

2021 Independence Day Holiday Travelers
Total Car Air Other

(Bus, Train, Cruise)

2021 (Forecast) 47.7 million 43.6 million 3.5 M 620,000
2020 (actual) * 34.2 million 32.5 million 1.3M 359,000
2019 (real) 48.9 million 41.5 million 3.9 million 3.5 M
Change (2019 to 2021) -2.5% + 5.1% −10.3% −82.5%
Change (2020 to 2021) + 39.6% + 34.1% + 163.8% + 72.7%

* AAA has not released travel forecasts for Independence Day in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, actual travel volumes have been recorded after the holidays for comparison this year.

Best destinations and resources for planning your trip

AAA Travel booking data also indicates a strong recovery in summer travel. Orlando and Southern California theme parks, as well as destinations such as Denver, Las Vegas, and Seattle top the list of Independence Day destinations this year.

Best Travel Destinations for Independence Day:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. Denver, CO
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. New York, New York State
  8. Atlanta, Georgia
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Kahului, Maui, HI

* Based on advance flight and tour reservations from AAA Travel, July 1-5, 2021

Long delays expected for drivers

INRIX, working with AAA, predicts that drivers will experience the worst traffic jams ahead of the holiday weekend, as commuters leave work early and mingle with holiday travelers, as well as the return trip on Monday noon. Major metropolitan areas in the United States could see nearly double the delays compared to typical driving times, with drivers in Boston and San Francisco likely to experience nearly three times the delays.

“With travelers eager to hit the road this summer, we expect traffic volumes nationwide to increase by about 15% from normal this holiday weekend. Drivers around major metropolitan areas need to be prepared for much longer delays, ”says Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. “Knowing when and where traffic jams are going to develop can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Monday noon.

Worst corridors and travel times

Subway station Corridor Peak congestion % above normal
Atlanta I-75 N, from Jodeco Road to Jenkinsburg Road Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 50%
Boston I-95 S, MA-10 to Sanford Road Monday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 330%
Chicago I-90 E, W Roosevelt Road to I-294 Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 50%
Detroit I-75 N, 12 Mile Road to Oakland St Friday, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 50%
Houston I-10 West, from Bernardo Road to Pin Oak Road Saturday, 8h00-10h00 50%
Los Angeles I-405 N, I-5 to Jefferson Blvd Friday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ten%
new York I-278 E, from the Bronx River to Williamsburg Street Thursday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 30%
San Francisco CA-17 N, from Lark Ave to Mt Hermon Road Monday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 340%
Seattle I-5 S, Capitol Blvd (Olympia) at JBLM Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 20%
Washington DC I-95 S, Route 3 to Dumfries Road Thursday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 30%
Source: INRIX

The worst and best times of the day to travel

Dated The worst moment Best time
Thursday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m.
Friday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Before 12:00
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. After 2:00 p.m.
Sunday Expected free flow
Monday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Before 1:00 p.m.
Source: INRIX

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