HARRISBURG — If you’re planning to hit the road over the July 4 holiday, you’ll have plenty of company, according to AAA.
The travel club says a record 49 million Americans are making travel plans for an Independence Day getaway this year, the most since it began tracking holiday travel in the 2000. Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1 percent over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday.
For the record-high 41.4 million Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute, with Wednesday, July 3 the worst day on the roads. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately nine percent, INRIX says.
In Pennsylvania, AAA says, nearly 70,000 more drivers will travel 50 miles or more from home to celebrate the 4th, an increase of 4.1 percent.
In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong, AAA says, which is a factor in the increase travel numbers. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest in travel this summer.
“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” said Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel. “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel.”