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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

AAA Mid-Atlantic: A Record Breaking 630,000 Philadelphia Area Residents will Travel for the Independence Day Holiday

Some travelers may find little independence from traffic, especially on Tuesday

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 28, 2018) Fourth of July travel will reach a record high this year, marking the most travelers for the second summer travel holiday since AAA began tracking 18 years ago.  AAA Mid-Atlantic projects more than 630,000 Philadelphia area residents plan to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday. The number represents a more than five percent increase over last year’s forecast. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

By the Numbers: 2018 Philadelphia Region Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of Philadelphia area travelers – 528,914 – will hit the road this Independence Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: A record-breaking 52,315 people will travel by air, a 9.9 percent increase locally and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long as the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day, particularly in the late afternoon as commuters leave work and mix in with holiday travelers. Travel times could increase two-fold in the major metros across the U.S. Drivers should avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.

What’s causing the increase in travelers?

In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is helped by Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday.

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more local travelers take to the roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”

2018 Projected Independence Day Holiday Travelers
Philadelphia (5-county) Area



Total Population

2018 Travelers

Percent of population traveling

Percent change vs. 2017


(5-county) TOTAL






(5-county) Auto

84% of people travel by car





(5-county) Air

8% of people travel by air










Auto, Air & Other








84% of people travel by car






8% of people travel by air









National TOTAL

328 million*

46.95 million



National Auto


84.5% of people travel by car

39.7 million



National Air


8% of people travel by air

3.76 million



*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2017)

Gas Up and Go

Higher prices at the pump are having little effect this Independence Day, with record number of travelers still planning to hit the road. Gas prices have consistently been declining since Memorial Day with Pennsylvania poised to drop below the $3 mark before the holiday. Crude oil prices may spoil the party in the coming days if they continue to rise. Crude is already $5 higher than last week.


Today (6/28)




















South Jersey





















To the Rescue

AAA expects to rescue more than 362,000 motorists at the roadside nationally around the Independence Day holiday. During the 2017 Independence Day holiday, AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued more than 6,700 drivers in the Philadelphia 5 county area as a result of dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires and more. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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