July 4th Holiday Travel to Hit All-Time Record, as More Than 44 Million People Leave Home

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According to AAA, travel over the July 4 holiday will hit an all-time record. The association said that 44.2 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from their homes. The period encompasses June 30 to July 4. The holiday falls on a Tuesday this year.

Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing, commented:

Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day 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.

The travel number will rise 1.25 million from 2016. Much of the increase probably will be driven by gasoline prices, which are at their lowest level in months. The average price for a gallon of regular nationwide is down to $2.28. In several states it is below $2.05. The AAA reports that these prices could take a minor uptick on the weekend as demand spikes.

The great majority of travel will be by auto. The AAA forecasts 37.5 million people will drive over 50 miles during the weekend. The association also forecasts that 3.44 million people will fly. Like consumers, airlines have enjoyed the low cost of fuel.

One part of the country travelers may want to avoid is the southwest, where temperatures have run well above 100 degrees. In Phoenix, the city with the most days during which the heat tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermometer has hit 120 degrees.

According to 24/7 Wall St. study “The 50 Hottest Cities in America,” temperatures are also likely to be very high in Del Rio, Brownsville, Waco, Corpus Christi, Austin and San Angelo. All these Texas cities have over 100 days during which temperatures are over 90 degrees.