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AAA says these upcoming dates could be the worst summers for traffic, as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to decline and vaccination rates rise across the country, July 4 travel is expected to rebound to near pre-pandemic levels.

AAA Travel released its annual travel forecast for July 4 on Tuesday, finding that 47.7 million Americans are planning trips this Independence Day weekend.

The 47.7 million expected travelers represent a significant increase of 40% from the 34.2 million who traveled last year, and only 2.5% less than the record 48.9 million who traveled in 2019.

Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly seek out the travel opportunities they’ve been putting off for a year and a half, said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. We’ve seen a strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and early summer, and all signs now point to a busy Independence Day to follow.

Car travel will continue to be the predominant form of travel this Independence Day, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, as many travelers are still reluctant to board planes, trains and travel. other forms of public transport.

AAA travel experts expect 43.6 million Americans to travel by car on July 4, which would be the highest number on record for the holidays, representing a 5.1% increase from the 41.5 million who did so in 2019, and a 34.1% increase from the 32.5 million road travelers in 2020.

Meanwhile, 3.5 million are expected to travel by air, which is a 10.3% drop from the 3.9 million who flew in 2019, but a staggering 163.8% increase from the 1, 3 million who flew last year.

Other forms of travel, such as buses, trains and cruise ships, are expected to accommodate around 620,000 travelers this year, 82.5% less than the 3.5 million in 2019, but 72.7% more than the 359,000 in 2019.

The top ten destinations for Independence Day travel in 2021 indicate that Americans are increasingly comfortable returning to major cities and tourist destinations across the country.

Here are the top ten destinations for July 4th travel, according to AAA Travel bookings.

  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

WORST TRAVEL DAYS FOR TRAFFIC

INRIX, a global transportation analysis company, predicts that the afternoons of Thursday July 1, Friday July 2 and Monday July 5 will be the worst period of traffic across the country, with trips taking nearly three times the usual weather in some large cities.

Travelers keen to hit the road this summer expected traffic volumes nationwide to increase by about 15% from normal this holiday weekend. Drivers around major metropolitan areas need to be prepared for much larger delays, said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst, INRIX.

Knowing when and where congestion will 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 lunchtime, Pishue added.

Those planning to drive on Independence Day should prepare for high gas prices, the national average, currently at $ 3.02, is expected to remain high as travel demand increases. However, the high prices should not prevent people from making their planned trips.

Higher gasoline prices will not deter road travelers this summer. In fact, we were expecting record levels of car travel on July 4, said Jeanette C. McGee, spokesperson for the AAA. Although prices will stay above $ 3 a gallon, travelers are likely to seek out more free activities or eat less at restaurants, while taking their vacation as planned.

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