44.2 Million People Expected to Travel Independence Day WeekendAURORA, Ill., (June 22, 2017) – This Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue. With 1.25 million more travels than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.
In Illinois, 2.4 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 2.9 percent increase from 2016. Of those travelers, 2.1 million will be driving (up 2.9 percent from 2016) and 108,000 will be flying to their destination (a 3.8 increase from 2016). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.32, down from $2.56 in 2016.
In Indiana, nearly 1.1 million people are expected to travel, which is a 3.2 percent increase from 2016. Of those, 930,000 are expected to travel by auto (3.4 percent increase) and about 46,000 by air (2.3 percent). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.14 per gallon, down from $2.40 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.28 down from $2.33 this time last year.
“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Traveler numbers are up and prices are down, adding to what has already been a bustling summer travel season.
“Travel bookings at The Auto Club Group are up nearly 12 percent in Illinois and more than 31 percent in Indiana compared to this time last year. The biggest factors driving growth are low gas prices, strong employment, rising incomes, and higher consumer confidence; but overall Americans just love to travel, and want to do something fun for this mid-summer tradition.”
By the Numbers: Independence Day Travel Forecast
- Overall, 44.2 million travelers are expected to travel this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
- 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.
- 3.44 million people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over the last year.
- 3.27 million travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
Travelers can expect lower prices for airfares, car rentals and hotels this Independence Day weekend. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 10 percent lower this year, with an average round trip ticket landing at $186. Daily car rental rates will average $65, which is 14 percent less than last Independence Day. Hotel costs are the same as last year, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $185 per night.
AAA to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day
AAA expects to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. 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.
Orlando remains top destination for summer travel
With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel based on AAA’s summer travel bookings:
- Orlando, Florida 6. Honolulu, Hawaii
- Vancouver, Canada 7. Anaheim, California
- Cancun, Mexico 8. Anchorage, Alaska
- Seattle, Washington 9. Las Vegas, Nevada
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 10. Montego Bay, Jamaica
To help travelers plan their trips to a top 10 destination, AAA’s team of anonymous hotel and restaurant inspectors recently selected a few of their favorite places to stay and dine.
Download the AAA mobile app before an Independence Day getaway
Before setting out for Independence Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities, budget and services.
About the travel forecast
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by HIS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/HIS Markit 2017 Independence Day holiday forecast is available here.