Despite high gas prices, July 4 car travel is set to break records, AAA says

Do not expect light traffic around the 4th of July 2022 holiday due to high gas prices.

Apparently, Americans are ready to go even if gas sits at just under $5 a gallon.

“Summer travel is already in full swing and Independence Day will be no exception as AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4),” AAA said in its Travel forecast for independence day 2022.

AAA said this is a 3.7% increase from 2021 and is “just below” what was seen in 2019.

The expected figures “will also set a new record despite historically high gas prices…”

“The volume of travelers we expect to see on Independence Day is a sure sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Earlier this year we started to see travel demand increase and it is not decreasing. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to keep taking that much-needed vacation.

Recent air travel issues, cancellations and delays add to the expectations of many people traveling by car.

“In fact, the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011,” AAA said.

“Travel by car offers a level of convenience and flexibility that people may be looking for given recent challenges with flying,” Twidale said.

“But not all destinations are accessible by car, which doesn’t mean you have to give up on your vacation plans. The best advice we can give travelers is to consider working with a travel agent who can help you plan for the unexpected, like a flight cancellation. They are your best advocate.

When traveling by car, AAA recommends a complete inspection of the vehicle before leaving to avoid breakdowns.

Also remember to travel during off-peak hours. For those driving, peak days are expected to be 2-8 p.m. Thursday, June 30 and noon-9 p.m. Friday, July 1.

Gasoline prices at a 7-Eleven in Colonial Park, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 is $5.01.

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