This year, the Fourth of July holiday travel period in the United States is expected to witness a significant surge in the number of Americans hitting the road, taking to the skies, and exploring new destinations.
According to a recent study by AAA Travel, this year’s holiday period is projected to set a new record, with an estimated 50.7 million Americans planning to travel 50 miles or more from home. This figure surpasses last year’s figure by 2.1 million and the previous record set in 2019, reflecting a remarkable increase in domestic travel.
Record-breaking Road Trips:
As families and friends gear up for Independence Day celebrations, the study suggests that the number of Americans traveling by car is expected to reach unprecedented levels.
AAA predicts that approximately 43.2 million people will opt for road trips, marking a 2.4 per cent increase from 2022 and a notable four per cent surge compared to 2019. Despite rising fuel costs and limited inventory, Americans are determined not to let these factors deter them from embarking on summer adventures.
For those looking to take to the skies, the study projects that a record-breaking 4.17 million Americans will choose air travel during the holiday travel period. This number represents an impressive 11.2 per cent jump from 2022 and a significant 6.6 per cent increase from 2019. Despite higher airline fares, travelers are demonstrating a strong desire to explore new destinations and create memorable experiences.
Strong Demand and Early Bookings:
AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale expressed surprise at the projected travel numbers, stating, “We’ve never projected travel numbers this high for Independence Day weekend.”
This data reinforces that consumers are undeterred by limited availability and higher prices and are instead prioritizing their travel plans this summer. Twidale further emphasized that many travelers heeded their advice and booked early, highlighting the robust demand for travel experiences.
Alternative Travel Modes:
While road trips and air travel take the lead, AAA also expects a notable increase in the number of Americans opting for bus, cruise, or train travel during the Fourth of July holiday.
With an anticipated 24 per cent increase over last year, approximately 3.36 million people are expected to explore these alternative modes of transportation. However, this number is not likely to surpass the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 of 3.54 million.
As expected, prices for travel in 2023 have seen an overall increase. Airline fares have risen by 40-50 per cent compared to last year, reflecting the challenges faced by the aviation industry.
Hotel stays have also experienced a slight increase over 2022. On the other hand, car rental prices have slightly decreased, offering some relief to travelers seeking more affordable transportation options.
The Fourth of July holiday travel period in 2023 promises to be an extraordinary time for the travel industry, with record-breaking numbers of Americans embarking on journeys across the country.
Despite higher prices and limited availability, travelers are demonstrating an unwavering desire to explore, connect, and celebrate Independence Day with their loved ones. As the travel industry continues to recover, this surge in domestic travel serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of adventure and the importance of creating lasting memories.
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