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Record Number of New Englanders to Travel over July 4th
AAA Projects More than 2.5 million to getaway for the weekend
More than 2.5 million New Englanders are expected to get away for the July 4th weekend – and more of them will be hitting the road for the holiday than ever before.
“All signs point to ‘go!’ for the weekend of the 4th, with gas prices significantly lower than last year at this time and a strong economy supporting the decision to travel,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “People have more money in their pockets and they’ve decided to spend that money getting away”.
Almost 2.2 million (record) – or more than 85% of the New Englanders travelling over the holiday weekend - will be driving to their destinations, up more than 4.5% over last year.
While most people will be driving to their destinations, a record number of New Englanders will be taking to the skies as well. AAA projects more than 190,000 people will be flying over the Fourth, an increase of more than 6% over last year.
“Not only will our roads be busy, the airports will be busy as well,” says AAA Travel Director Suzanne Aresco. “It is critical that flyers plan ahead, familiarize themselves with TSA policies and allow themselves extra time to deal with the inevitable delays”.
No Holiday for AAA
AAA expects to respond to more than 4,000 calls for help over the holiday weekend – just in the Greater Hartford area alone. Last year, about half the AAA Emergency Roadside calls over the weekend required a tow. Hundreds of the calls were for dead batteries and tire troubles. Additionally, AAA received more than 500 calls from members who had locked themselves out of their vehicles!
“The lockout scenario clearly illustrates that sometimes slowing down can actually save motorists time”, Parmenter adds.
AAA is encouraging all motorists to get their batteries and tires checked THIS WEEKEND in preparation for next weekend.
The NEW AAA Southington Car Care center will be offering FREE battery and tire testing as will any AAA Approved Auto Repair.
By the numbers: New England’s 2019 Independence Day travel forecast
- All New England travelers – more than 2.5 million (record), up more than 4% over last year
- Automobiles: 2.2 million (record) - or more than 85% of all New England travelers - will hit the road for July 4th –an increase of 4.5% over last year.
- Planes: 191,000 New Englanders will travel by air (record), an increase of more than 6% percent over last year and the 10th consecutive year of air travel volume increases.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: 154,000 New Englanders (record) will travel by train, bus or cruise, a slight increase over last year.
Drivers Beware: Worst Times to Hit the Road
For those who are planning to hit the road, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday July 3rd – in the late afternoon - as daily commuters mix with holiday travelers trying to get a jump on the weekend.
The ‘local’ AAA projections mirror the national numbers in that the Independence Day holiday is expected to be a record-setting weekend for travel. AAA is projecting that almost 49 million Americans will be traveling a distance of 50 miles or more over the Independence Day holiday weekend – most of them driving to their destinations.
Consistent with years past, AAA defines the July 4th holiday as the five-day travel period, beginning Wednesday July 3rd through Sunday July 7th.
Gas prices not deterring travelers
Gas prices are significantly lower than they were last year at this time. And, although the Philadelphia refinery fire and geo-political influences may push the price at the pump up a bit, there is no sharp spike expected before the holiday weekend. Regardless, AAA projections suggest New Englanders will not be deterred by the cost of filling up.
Travelers paying more for July 4th car rentals and airfares
Some of the savings travelers are enjoying from lower gas prices will go toward other travel costs this holiday, which are trending higher.
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares on average are 10% more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5% higher than last year, at $69 daily. Meanwhile, midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.
Top Independence Day travel destinations
Fun-in-the-sun locales like Orlando and Honolulu lead the top 10 the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Independence Day, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:
- Orlando, Florida
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Seattle, Washington
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Anaheim, California
- New York, New York
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Maui, Hawaii
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Chicago, Illinois
For those travelers planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the most popular spots for international vacations this Independence Day, with Vancouver, Canada -- a top departure port for Alaskan cruises -- rounding out the top five.
According to Hertz, a 40-year AAA partner, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers renting a car this Independence Day are expected to be Orlando (MCO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO). The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, July 3.
AAA reminds travelers that it’s not too late to plan an Independence Day trip. Visit AAA.com/Travel to get started.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2019 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working 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 (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. 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 www.aaa.com.