Millions of people are traveling to different parts of the country as the 4th of July weekend was projected to be the most traveled one in years.
For some, the 4th of July travel means heading to the beach. Coastal towns and resort destinations become bustling with activity as families and friends flock to the shorelines. From attending local parades and firework displays to indulging in traditional American cuisine, the holiday becomes a time of joy, reflection, and appreciation for the country’s heritage.
AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday. Domestic travel over the long weekend will increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4th weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.
This July 4th weekend is expected to set a new record for the number of Americans traveling by car for the holiday. AAA expects 43.2 million people will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4% over 2022 and 4% higher than 2019.
The national average for a gallon of regular was $4.80 on July 4th, 2022. Gas prices have remained steady the past couple of months, with the national average hovering around $3.50 to $3.60 a gallon, thanks to the lower cost of oil.
Air travel is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 4.17 million Americans will fly to their destinations on Independence Day weekend, an increase of 11.2% over 2022 and 6.6% over 2019. The previous July 4th weekend air travel record of 3.91 million travelers was set in 2019. The share of air travelers in the overall holiday forecast this year is an impressive 8.2% – the highest percentage in nearly 20 years.
Transportation Security Administration anticipated the busiest travel days will occur from June 29 through July 5. The peak travel day of the holiday weekend is expected to be Friday, with TSA screening an estimated 2.82 million individuals and approximately 17.7 million during the seven-day travel period. Friday’s travel figure would surpass our current single-day travel record since Friday, June 16, when TSA screened nearly 2.8 million passengers. The peak Independence Day holiday travel day in 2019 was Sunday, July 7, when TSA screened 2.79 million passengers.
“TSA is staffed and ready for the increasing travel volumes during this holiday travel period with the technologies and resources for improved security effectiveness, efficiency, and passenger experience at security checkpoints,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This is largely due to the funding we received in FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which places all TSA employees on the same pay scale as most other federal employees. With the new pay implementation plan for all TSA employees starting in July, attrition levels at TSA have dropped to historic lows, which means our increased employee retention has resulted in sufficient staffing levels to meet the increased passenger demand throughout the country.”