This Fourth of July is expected to be the second-busiest Independence Day travel weekend since 2000, according to AAA, with nearly 48 million Americans either hitting the road or getting on a plane this year.
Despite rising gas prices, AAA said, 42 million are still expected to drive, especially as issues with air travel, including cancelations and delays, continue.
Travel prices are also going up: AAA found airfare increased by 14%, mid-range hotels have gone up by about 23% and people renting cars will pay $40 more per day on average compared to pre-pandemic years.
If you’re hitting the road, AAA says, the worst times to travel by car this week are:
- 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday
- Noon to 9 p.m. Friday
- 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
On the other hand, the best times to head out for a road trip are:
- Before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Thursday
- Before 10 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Friday
- Before noon or after 7 p.m. Saturday
When it comes to air travel, AAA says data shows Friday, July 1, will be the most congested. Monday will be the lightest day.
Top holiday destinations include Orlando; Seattle; New York; Anaheim, California, where Disneyland is located; Anchorage, Alaska; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Las Vega; Honolulu; Denver, and Chicago.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale said in a statement.
“Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”