AAA forecast: The United States will set a travel record for the holiday on July 4

(CNN) – Americans are feeling the heat of the gas station, but that won’t keep them in the park, AAA predicts.

The group’s annual forecast for the holiday weekend of July 4 says 42 million Americans – more than ever – will travel 50 miles or more.

This is despite the fact that gas prices reached a record earlier this month. The national average for the gallon on Monday was $ 4.98, just pennies from the highest of $ 5.02 reached a week earlier.

A combination of holidaymakers and travelers could increase travel time to double the normal length at peak points on Thursday and Friday nights, traffic experts at Inrix said.

He warned that some of the busiest routes would include highways around Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

The best time to travel from Thursday to Friday is sooner or later in the day, Inrix predicts. It says congestion on Sunday and Monday should be lower. July 4 comes on Monday this year.

Gas saving tips

Heavy traffic caused slow traffic in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 16, 2022. This will probably be a site known to many drivers since July 4 this year.

Heavy traffic caused slow traffic in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 16, 2022. This will probably be a site known to many drivers since July 4 this year.

Chris Craig / The Providence Journal / USA Today Network

People determined to go on the road still have ways to at least ease the sting of gas prices. Several strategies include:

• Bypass stations in the immediate vicinity of main highways: “It’s usually best not to use stations just off the Interstate,” said Ellen Edmunds, AAA’s public relations manager, in a recent interview with CNN Travel. Instead, drive a few miles down the road. Look for residential areas or remote rural areas.

• Be expensive at expensive gas stations: If you run out of gas and you’re stuck in a high-priced area, be sure to stop to refuel. Just don’t fill up completely. Pump enough gas to get safely to a place where stations usually charge less.

• Think “close”: There are options between satisfying another place to stay and an epic journey that will break your budget. This is the “near”. Think of places closer to home, but far enough away to feel like a good trip.

In the sky

A Boeing 737-932ER operated by Delta took off from JFK International Airport.  The AAA says only about 7% of people traveling for the July 4 holiday will fly.

A Boeing 737-932ER operated by Delta took off from JFK International Airport. The AAA says only about 7% of people traveling for the July 4 holiday will fly.

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images / File

As roads are paved, fewer Americans will fly for the holiday, the AAA expects.

It says that 3.55 million people who are expected to soar in the sky during Independence Day are only 7% of travelers. This is the lowest share since 2011, when the economy is still recovering from the Great Recession.

AAA says airline tickets are about 14% more expensive than in 2021.

Hopper fare observers say prices paid this month are about $ 20 lower than the May average, but attribute this to passengers buying cheaper autumn flights. The price for an average hotel room is 23% higher than last year, said AAA.

Overall, the AAA said demand for travel “is not declining” despite higher costs.

“People are ready for the holidays, and although things are worth more, they are finding ways to take this much-needed vacation,” said Paula Twiddale of AAA Travel.

Flight cancellation tips

CNN Travel asked Kathleen Bungs, a former commercial airline pilot and FlightAware spokesperson, what passengers could do to prepare for cancellations and delays this summer.

She offered this advice based on a conversation she had on Monday with an employee of a major US airline:

• Leave my pillow: Do not travel on the day of an important event. Plan to arrive at least one day in advance.

• Applications are your friend: If your flight is canceled, reschedule your trip in the airline’s app. You will probably be able to book faster and have access to places that are likely to fill up while you wait on the phone.

• Use hand luggage for the most important things: Pack everything you need within a day or two in your hand luggage. Do not check prescription drugs or other important things.

• Be careful: Don’t throw your frustration at customer service staff. They do not make operational decisions.

Photo above: A motorcyclist refueling in Houston. (Aaron M. Sprecher / AP)

CNN’s Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter contributed to this article.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.