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

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 1, 2021) Travel is making a comeback. As proof, more than 660,000 people living in the Philadelphia 5 county area will bring travel back and venture 50 miles or more from their homes during the Independence Day holiday weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic is projecting. Ninety percent of those traveling (nearly 600,000) will do so by automobile, as the Great American Road Trip reaches record volume for the holiday. AAA projects this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019, with Great American Road Trips reaching record levels.

Local Independence Day Travel by the Numbers

Philadelphia 5 county area

  • More than 660,000 Philadelphia 5-county area residents are forecasted to travel 50 miles or more for the July 4th holiday, a 49% increase over 2020 and a 2% decrease from 2019.
  • The Great American Road Trip – car travel is expected to reach record levels as more than 595,000 are expected to drive, 42% more than in 2020 and 6% more than 2019.
  • Almost 55,000 are expected to fly, a three-digit increase of 179% over last year and a 6.5% decrease from 2019.

New Jersey and Delaware

  • More than 1.27 million New Jerseyans will be traveling for the Fourth of July holiday.
  • More than 136,000 Delawareans will travel for the July Fourth holiday.

2021 Projected Independence Day Holiday Travelers

Philadelphia (5-county) Area


Total Population

2021 Travelers

Percent of population traveling

Percent change vs. 2020

Percent change vs. 2019


(5-county) TOTAL







(5-county) Auto

90% of people travel by car






(5-county) Air

8% of people travel by air











National TOTAL

330 million*

47.7 million




National Auto


91% of people travel by car

43.6 million




National Air


7% of people travel by air

3.5 million










*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2019)
*AAA did not issue an Independence Day holiday travel forecast in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, actual travel volumes were recorded after the holiday for comparison purposes this year

Best Times to Travel
Source: INRIX

Thursday, July 1 – AFTER 7 p.m.
Friday, July 2 – BEFORE 12 p.m.
Saturday, July 3 – AFTER 2 p.m.
Sunday, July 4 –Anytime!
Monday, July 5 – BEFORE 1 p.m.

FREE Inspection - Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip-Ready

AAA reminds motorists to plan their route in advance and ensure their vehicle is ready, to help avoid a breakdown along the way. In the Philly 5 county area, there are eight AAA Car Care Centers where car care professionals are ready to help drivers get their vehicles ready to hit the road for the holiday. These locations are also offering free “Great American Road Trip Vehicle Health Inspection” to both members and non-members through the end of July. This free inspection includes tire, brake, battery, exterior lights and fluid level safety checks. Appointments can be scheduled at

Gas Prices

Independence Day travelers can expect gas prices to be the most expensive since 2014 with the national average likely to remain above $3 per gallon.










Philadelphia 5 county









S. Jersey


















AAA members can save on gas by joining the Fuel Rewards at Shell program. Save 30 cents per gallon on your first fill-up at Shell when you join between July 1 and August 31, 2021. Join now at

More Tips for Travelers

While many aspects of daily life start to return closer to a pre-pandemic normal, AAA cautions that the travel landscape has changed. Remember to exercise caution while traveling, and consider working with a travel agent to plan your trip. They can help if you need to make any last-minute changes to travel plans, explore travel insurance options and help you plan a vacation that meets your needs and comfort-level this summer.

Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.


AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. For the purposes of this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1 through Monday, July 5. When the Fourth of July falls on any day of the week other than a Wednesday, it is considered to be a five-day holiday period. The travel forecast was prepared the week of June 1, 2021.

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. For the 2021 Independence Day holiday travel forecast, IHS Markit also examined changes in the IHS Markit containment index regarding COVID‑19–related restrictions and activity.

About AAA:
AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 30 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit

About INRIX:
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. INRIX’s partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

About IHS Markit:
IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 62 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.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, access a COVID travel restriction map, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app ( for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit


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