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AAA: 41.9 Million Americans will Celebrate Independence Day with a Holiday Getaway

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Contact(s):
Beth Mosher
phone: 630.328.7234
June 29, 2015

Illinois, Indiana July 4 travelers on the rise

Independence Day Travel Forecast

Independence Day Travel Forecast

AURORA, Ill., (June 29, 2015) – AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.

In Illinois, 2.3 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a .4 percent increase from 2014. Of those travelers, two million will be driving (up .4 percent from 2014) and 104,000 will be flying to their destination (a 1.1 percent increase from 2014). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.94, down substantially from $3.88 in 2014.

In Indiana, one million people are expected to travel, which is a one percent increase from 2014. Of those, 880,000 are expected to travel by auto (one percent increase) and about 46,000 by air (1.7 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.77 per gallon, down from $3.71 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.78.

“This Independence Day, more people will get in their cars, board airplanes, and take buses, trains and cruise ships to celebrate our nation’s freedom with friends and family,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “Students all across the nation are also celebrating freedom from pencils and books, making this an ideal time for a family vacation. Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday for this reason, and more Americans are planning a holiday getaway than any year since 2007.”

Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting more Americans to take a holiday trip this year. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below year-ago levels, which has helped boost Americans’ disposable income. 

“Although some consumers are using their recent savings on gas to pay down debt and save, overall, Americans are planning to travel in record numbers,” continued Mosher. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, a welcome sign for the 35.5 million people planning a holiday road trip.”

All-American road trips remain popular for Independence Day

Nearly 85 percent of travelers (35.5 million) will drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 0.7 percent. Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.5 percent to 3.21 million leisure travelers. Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 0.5 percent this Independence Day, to 3.2 million.

AAA to rescue travelers stalled by a breakdown

AAA expects to rescue nearly 360,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle and check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a holiday getaway. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance when needed.

Holiday travel expenses on the rise 

Travelers will encounter moderately higher lodging rates and airfares this Independence Day.  According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is six percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost nine percent more, averaging $195. Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent higher this Independence Day, climbing to $227. 

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-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/IHS Global Insight 2015 Independence Day Travel Forecast can be found here.

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About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

About Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation
Established by AAA – The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF’s purpose.
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