The number of Americans who are expected to travel on the holiday weekend of July 4 is expected to be close to the record high set in 2019, which is a further sign of the recovery of the US economy from the Covid-19 crisis.
According to a report from the American Automobile Association, between July 1 and July 5, there will be more than 47.7 million people moving, which is the second highest number on record.
This figure is only 2.5% lower than the record number of Independence Day trips the year before the pandemic broke out. This also marks an increase of nearly 40% from 2020, when coronavirus restrictions and outbreaks in parts of the country restricted travel.
AAA Travel senior vice president Paula Twidale (Paula Twidale) said: “Travel is in full swing this summer, because Americans are eager to seek their delayed travel opportunities for a year and a half.”
Road trips will continue to be the most popular mode of travel, with 43.6 million people expected to drive, which is the highest level in the history of Independence Day. AAA stated that 3.5 million people plan to fly, which is about 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Air travel has already taken off. The Transportation Security Administration said 2.15 million people passed the airport checkpoint on Thursday. This is the second highest number reported during the pandemic and slightly lower than the 2.17 million reported four days ago.
Americans planning to go on the road may face the impact of stickers on fuel pumps. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that the average price of regular gasoline exceeded $3 per gallon for the first time since the fall of 2014. By the beginning of this week, the national average price reached $3.09 per gallon. The average price in the same period last year was US$2.17 per gallon, and it was US$2.71 per gallon two years ago.
AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said: “Although the price will remain above US$3 per gallon, travelers may look for more free activities or reduce dining out, but the holidays will continue as planned.”
The AAA warned that in the context of increasing demand, travelers’ hotel rooms and car rental prices will also face higher prices. The organization said that compared with last year’s Independence Day, mid-range hotel prices have risen by 32% to 35%, and daily car rental rates are 86% higher. However, airfare prices have dropped by 2%.
Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California, home to Disney World and Disneyland theme parks, respectively, are the most popular destinations for Independence Day visitors this year. Other popular destinations include Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Seattle, Washington.