WASHINGTON, D. C. (Friday, June 28, 2019) –– Fun-in-the-sun locales and localities like Orlando and Honolulu top the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Fourth of July. Those mid-summery travelers “with a vacation state of mind” are also jet-setting or cruising to the far-flung corners of the United States, and exotic sites well beyond the lower 48 such as Maui, Hawaii, and Anchorage, Alaska.
Three of the largest cities in the Continental United States, or its environs, are top tier vacation destinations for the Fourth of July. For example, Anaheim, a city outside Los Angeles, and home to the family-friendly Disneyland Resort, is also a top pick. Then there is Las Vegas and its bright lights, its internationally famous Strip, and its world-class resorts. Among all holiday destinations for the Fourth in these United States, Orlando is perennially king of all its surveys. Its fabled attractions include Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove Orlando, and many other exciting venues and vistas.
“Unsurprisingly, Orlando, Florida, once again claims the top spot as the most-visited summer travel destination. The city’s world-famous theme parks are a top draw for families during the Fourth of July,” said Suzanne Aresco, Director, Travel Sales, AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Alaskan cruises are a top vacation choice for summer travelers this year, with Vancouver, Seattle and Anchorage topping the list of embarkation ports for these coveted sailings.”
Each of the topmost picks offers fun alternatives for adults beyond the theme parks, amusement parks and water parks. Think romantic vacations and “gorgeous greenery and scenery.” Based on advance AAA Travel bookings, the top ten Fourth of July travel destinations are:
1. Orlando, Florida
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
3. Seattle, Washington
4. Las Vegas, Nevada
5. Anaheim, California
6. New York, New York
7. Boston, Massachusetts
8. Maui, Hawaii
9. Anchorage, Alaska
10. Chicago, Illinois
It all makes for an exciting weekend getaway. Based on AAA Travel bookings for vacation venues and vistas, Orlando also emerged as the top summer travel destination in 2017 and 2018.
For those Fourth of July travelers planning an international vacation, or yearning to go hither, thither, and yon, Europe is the destination of choice. Brimming with rural landscapes, ancient ruins, antiquities, iconic sites and sights, and yet awash with a spirit of modernity, 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.
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), according to Hertz, a 40-year AAA partner. The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, July 3.
This Fourth of July, a record 48.9 million Americans, including 1.2 million people living in and around Washington, D.C., are slated to travel 50 miles or more away from home, AAA is forecasting. It comprises a 4.1 percent increase over last year. This is the highest Independence Day travel volume since AAA started tracking holiday travel in 2000. It is proof positive that two-thirds of leisure travelers (64 percent) plan to take a vacation this summer, according to a AAA Travel Survey released March 2019.
That’s befitting the quintessentially most American of holidays and celebrations. Consider this, the Fourth of July actually became a federal holiday in 1870. However, as a footnote, that year it was designated as a federal holiday “within the District of Columbia only. It would take years of new legislation to expand the holiday to all federal employees.” Unless they are of a certain vintage, it might surprise most residents of the National Capital Area to learn it wasn’t until 81 years ago, in 1938 to be exact, that Congress finally got around to re-designating the Fourth of July as an official federal holiday, this time with the purpose of granting all federal workers paid time off for the Fourth of July for the first ever.
“Historically, leisure travel was a luxury, but the designation of the Fourth of July as a federal holiday gave a boom to long-distance travel during the nation’s birthday. It is now a time-honored tradition. In true American spirit, the Fourth of July is not only the busiest family vacation period during summertime, it is also one of the busiest holiday travel periods of the year,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “This year, the Fourth of July falls on Thursday, making for a long holiday weekend, and for record-shattering leisure travel volumes in the ‘seat of government,’ a rich metaphor and metonymy for Washington, D.C. and its environs, as well as across the United States.”
AAA to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists
With 41.4 million Americans, including over one million Washingtonians, traveling by automobile for the Fourth, AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday weekend. In 2018, AAA rescued 1,340 drivers in Washington, D.C., 9,490 in Maryland and 6,767 in Virginia during the July Fourth holiday. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble.
AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility, such as a AAA Car Care Center in the mid-Atlantic region or one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip.
Additionally, before hitting the road, motorists need to be prepared for emergencies by taking along a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.
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