2015 to see the most Independence Day travelers since 2007
PORTLAND, Ore., – AAA projects 41.9 million Americans (13 percent of the population) will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.
In the Pacific Region, (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA), Fourth of July travel is expected to increase .6 percent, with 6.4 million people (12.3 percent of the population) taking trips.
“The 4th of July is the busiest travel holiday of the summer and more Americans are planning an Independence Day getaway since 2007,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, good news for the 35.5 million people planning a holiday road trip.”
“Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting millions of Americans to take a holiday trip this year,” says Doreen Loofburrow, Vice President of Travel for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Although some consumers are using their recent savings on gas to pay down debt and save, overall, Americans are planning to travel in record numbers. In fact, nearly five million more Americans are expected to travel for the Fourth of July than for Memorial Day just a few weeks ago.”
All-American road trips remain popular for Independence Day
Nationally, nearly 85 percent of travelers (35.5 million) will drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 0.7 percent. In the Pacific Region, 5.1 million (79 percent of holiday travelers) plan to travel by car, an increase of .5 percent.
AAA to rescue travelers stalled by a breakdown
AAA expects to rescue nearly 360,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA says inspect your vehicle and check the condition of your battery and tires before heading out on a holiday getaway. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
Lowest Independence Day gas prices in at least five years expected
Despite recent seasonal increases in the price of gas, travelers continue to enjoy substantially lower prices compared to recent years. Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since at least 2010. The current national average for regular unleaded is $2.78, and Oregon’s average is $3.14.
Air travel and airfares to increase
Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.5 percent to 3.21 million leisure travelers. In all, 7.7 percent of all holiday travelers will fly to their destinations.
In the Pacific Region, 771,000 or 11.9 percent of travelers will fly to their destinations, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to 2014. The Pacific region typically sees a higher than average share of its population travel by air over the holidays compared to other regions, and this is the case for this Independence Day. This area is more spread out geographically than other parts of the U.S. so flying can be more convenient for travelers here.
Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent higher this Independence Day, climbing to $227.
Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 0.5 percent this Independence Day, to 3.2 million.
Holiday lodging, rental car expenses on the rise
Travelers will encounter moderately higher lodging rates and airfares this Independence Day. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is six percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost nine percent more, averaging $195.
The average daily car rental rate this Independence Day is $71, compared to $58 last year, a 22 percent increase.
Popular Summer Destinations
AAA Oregon/Idaho says that while Central Oregon, Crater Lake, and the Oregon coast all always popular July vacation destinations, many are traveling further from home this year. Loofburrow says, “The Utah national parks, as well as Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park are top destinations. Disneyland is always a favorite and this year the park is celebrating its 60th anniversary. International travel is also on the rise, thanks in part to a strong dollar. Italy, France and England are the top European destinations. The Canadian Rockies including Lake Louise and Banff are also popular this summer season. And many are taking road trips to Northern California with the Redwoods National park and Sonoma/Napa among the most popular destinations.”
AAA Mobile app helps independence day travelers
Before setting out on an Independence Day getaway, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via TripTik Travel Planner. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
AAA Holiday Projections
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight, based in Colorado. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2015 Independence Day Travel Forecast can be found here.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.