AAA predicts this will be a record-breaking Fourth of July holiday travel period, which officially begins Friday and runs until Tuesday.
The Auto Club Group expects more than 44 million Americans will travel, which includes more than 2 million Floridians. That's 1.3 million more American travelers compared to last year.
“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Vicky Evans, Asst. Vice President of Travel Sales Development at AAA. “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 more than 15 percent in Florida, 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.”
The Independence Day holiday travel period is usually the most traveled of the big three summer holidays, including Memorial Day and Labor Day.
AAA says more than 37 million Americans will drive to their holiday destination for July Fourth which is 2.9 percent more than last year.
Two million Floridians will drive, which is also up since 2016. A big reason for that is gas prices.
The national average for a gallon of gas today is $2.23, which should be the lowest for the holiday weekend in 12 years according to AAA.
The average gas price in Florida is $2.16. It's a little higher for the West Palm metro area at 2.27. The average gas price in Florida is the lowest since 2004.
"Florida motorists have been riding a wave of falling gas prices for the last 26 consecutive days," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. "The fireworks started more than a month ago, when oil prices tanked, leading to sharp cuts in prices at the pump. Motorists are now finding retail prices below $2 a gallon at many Florida gas stations. This may be just the incentive any last minute travelers needed to hit the road. And those motorists can use free AAA mobile app to find the lowest prices along their route."