(Gray News) – Lower gas prices and a strong economy add up to record-breaking travel numbers for the Fourth of July, according to AAA.
Nearly 49 million Americans are planning a holiday getaway, up more than 4 percent from last year.
“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,” said AAA Travel Vice president Paula Twidale.
Lower gasoline prices are helping fuel the travel bug for the 41.4 million who will hop in an automobile for the holiday.
“Gas prices are, on average, 17 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday,” said AAA gas price expert Jeanette Casselano. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”
All those vehicles could make for some congested roadways as holiday drivers combine with commuters. Wednesday’s traffic is supposed to be the worst of the long weekend.
AAA said delays are expected to increase by 9 percent nationwide.
About 4 million Americans will take to the skies for Independence Day, a 5 percent increase. AAA’s Leisure Travel Index said more people are traveling despite an average 10-percent increase in airfares.
The remaining 3.5 million Americans will travel by trains, buses and cruise ships.