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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 660,000 Philadelphia-Area Residents will Travel for the Independence Day Holiday

Nationally, a record-breaking 48.9 million Americans to travel;
Travelers may find little independence from traffic, especially on Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 26, 2019) More Americans than ever recorded by AAA, nearly 49 million, are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year, more than 2 million more than last year.  AAA Mid-Atlantic projects more than 660,000 Philadelphia area residents plan to travel 50 miles or more to mark the second summer holiday weekend. The number represents a nearly four percent increase over last year’s forecast. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7.

By the Numbers: 2019 Philadelphia Region Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of Philadelphia area travelers – more than 557,000 – will hit the road this Independence Day, 3.9 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: A record-breaking 57,000-plus people will travel by air, a 6.7 percent increase locally and the tenth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.

Record-level drivers equals record-level delays

For the 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX (a global transportation analytics company), in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3 as commuters mix with holiday travelers. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Drivers should avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.

What’s causing the increase in travelers?

In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest their hard-earned money in travel this summer. The expected increase in travelers this year is also helped by Independence Day falling on a Thursday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend after the holiday.

“Independence Day is a time for the much loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session, families are eager to travel.”

2019 Projected Independence Day Holiday Travelers
Philadelphia (5-county) Area


Total Population

2019 Travelers

Percent of population traveling

Percent change vs. 2018

(5-county) TOTAL





(5-county) Auto

83.9% of people travel by car




(5-county) Air

8.7% of people travel by air




Auto, Air & Other






83.9% of people travel by car





8.7% of people travel by air




National TOTAL

329.5 million*

48.9 million



National Auto

84.7% of people travel by car

41.4 million



National Air

8.0% of people travel by air

3.9 million



*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2018)

Gas Up and Go

With today’s national average of $2.68, gas prices are 16 cents less year-over-year and expected to drop even lower into the summer. This is motivating record numbers of travelers to take road trips for the holiday weekend.

Locally, gas prices remain about 10 to 20 cents below this time last year and relatively steady less than one week after the refinery fire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the largest refinery on the East Coast.

“Gas prices are, on average, 15 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday,” said Tidwell. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”

AAA: Independence Day Gas Price 2013-2019

Today (6/26)























South Jersey
























AAA to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists

AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday. During the 2018 Independence Day holiday, AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued nearly 7,500 drivers in the Philadelphia 5 county area as a result of dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires and more.  AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility 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.

AAA reminds travelers that it’s not too late to plan an Independence Day trip. Visit to get started.


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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