Fourth of July travel to match pre-pandemic levels

Posted at 7:42 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 07:42:57-04

If you are hitting the road for the 4th of July holiday weekend, you won't be alone. Be sure to pack your patience as AAA expects travel to hit pre-pandemic levels and even break records in some cases.

AAA is predicting travel volumes for Independence Day will be the second-highest on record, nearing the highs set in 2019, as more than 47.7 million Americans will take at least one domestic trip this Independence Day. The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1 through Monday, July 5. This represents an increase of nearly 40% from last year, and only about 2.5% fewer than the 2019 holiday weekend.

AAA says nearly 2.6 million Floridians are expected to take a trip during the holiday weekend. That’s the second-most on record, and 36% more than the 2020 holiday period.

While all types of travel will increase, road trips continue to dominate this summer. Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91% of holiday travel will be by car.

An expected 43.6 million Americans, including 2.4 million Floridians, will drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 5% more than the previous record set in 2019. That's despite gas prices being the highest in seven years.

For more on Florida gas prices, click here.

With so many people driving for their vacation, you will likely run into some traffic trouble. AAA says the worst time to leave home for your trip is during rush hour on Thursday and Friday, or between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. To try to beat the crowds, the best time to head out would be after 7 p.m. on Thursday and before noon on Friday. Plan for delays if you are making your return trip mid-day Monday as well.

For more travel tips, click here.