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These Are the Best (and Worst) Times to Hit the Road for July 4

These Are the Best (and Worst) Times to Hit the Road for July 4

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A record-setting nearly 71 million Americans are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday, cementing this as the summer of travel. 

In total, 70.9 million travelers are forecast to head 50 miles or more from home from Saturday, June 29, to Sunday, July 7, according to AAA. Of those, 60.6 million people are expected to hit the road.

This year’s forecast, which for the first time includes the entire Fourth of July week plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after, represents a 5 percent increase compared to last year and an 8 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic in 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement, adding, “We anticipate this July 4th week will be the busiest ever.”

For travelers looking to drive over July 4, mornings tend to be the best to avoid traffic. The worst times to travel by car ahead of the holiday are between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m, according to AAA. Travelers heading back on Monday, July 8, should also avoid rush hour traffic during both the morning and afternoon.

Overall, the best day for traffic will be Monday, July 1.

While traffic is likely inevitable, the good news is gas prices are expected to continue dropping leading up to July 4. Currently, gas is averaging $3.47 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA, which is lower than last year’s national average of $3.53 per gallon during the same time period.

Beyond the roads, a total of 5.74 million people are expected to fly over the July 4 holiday, a nearly 7 percent increase compared to last year. The prediction comes as unprecedented numbers of travelers have swarmed airports across the country, setting new records for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

More people may be flying, but AAA said domestic airfare is actually 2 percent cheaper over the Fourth of July holiday than last year. The average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is currently $800.

In addition, more than 4.6 million travelers are forecast to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains.

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Articles: 2029

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