AAA Predicts Second Year of Record Independence Day Travel

Staff Report

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 22, 2017) – AAA expects Independence Day travel numbers to beat last year’s record, with 44.2 million Americans (1.9 million Ohioans) traveling at least 50 miles from home between Friday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 4. This is an increase of 2.9 percent nationally (3.1 percent in Ohio) from last year’s record numbers.

Economy Boosting Travel:

Overall economy growth has been strong, and the national unemployment rate is down to 4.4 percent. Strong employment and rising incomes have boosted consumer confidence and spending, which bodes well for the travel industry this holiday weekend.

“A historic 44.2 million Americans will travel to celebrate our nation’s freedom this year, adding to an already bustling summer travel season,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing.

Fourth of July is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, since school is out and many families take their big summer trip during this time.

Modes of Travel:

Auto Travel: Nearly 85 percent of American travelers (37.5 million people) and about 88 percent of Ohio travelers (nearly 1.7 million people) will drive to their destinations this Independence Day. During the five-day holiday period, AAA expects to assist more than 338,000 motorists, primarily with dead batteries, flat tires, lockouts and tows.

Air Travel: AAA predicts an eight consecutive year of air travel growth, with more than 3.44 million Americans (nearly 82,000 Ohioans) flying this holiday. This is 4.6 percent higher (4.7 percent higher in Ohio) than last year. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 10 percent less this Independence Day, with a roundtrip ticket costing $186.

Gas Prices:

In 2016, travelers experienced the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005, with prices averaging $2.27 nationally ($2.19 in Ohio). This year, AAA expects lower oil costs and high inventories to keep prices at the pump in line with year-ago levels for the busy holiday weekend. Although, spikes are possible due to higher demand or unforeseen refinery hiccups.

Holiday Travel Expenses:

Hotel costs are the same as last Independence Day with AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels averaging $185 per night. Daily car rental rates have fallen 14 percent to an average $65 per day over the holiday weekend.

Holiday Forecast Methodology:

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at <> .

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 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 online at <> .

Staff Report