This Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue.
With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, officials with the AAA report 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.
“Across the country, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence are coaxing more Americans to hit the highway – along with relatively low gas prices,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “In terms of sheer number of travelers, this Fourth of July will be historic.”
AAA defines the Independence Day holiday travel period as Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4.
Independence Day Travel Forecast
The 44.2 million travelers who are expected to travel this Independence Day represent a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, also an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.
3.44 million people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, 4.6 percent more than last year.
3.27 million travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent over 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruise ships, trains and buses.
Gas prices cheaper than one year ago
Oklahoma’s statewide price average for regular gasoline today stands at $1.99 per gallon, 12 cents below the price one year ago and 11 cents less than the average one month ago, according to GasPrices.AAA.com.
Oklahoma is one of only two states today with a gas price average below $2 per gallon (South Carolina is at $1.96).
The national average gas price today of $2.28 is four cents cheaper than this same time last year and historically low for the summer travel season. However, AAA says motorists may see small price increases closer to the holiday weekend, similar to the Memorial Day gas price trend.
Airfares, car rental rates 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.
Download the AAA Mobile app
Before setting out for an Independence Day road trip, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance and find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s 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, budget and services.
About the travel forecast
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 at http://newsroom.aaa.com.