Independence Day Travel Forecast
This July Fourth will have the most travelers ever, AAA predicts
It’s fitting that, on a holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence, millions of Americans will exercise their freedom by driving, flying, or riding. Whether it’s to a backyard family barbecue or a spectacular fireworks show, the pursuit of happiness can lead travelers far from home.  AAA Travel is predicting—thanks to improving consumer sentiment and relatively low gas prices—that this year’s Independence Day will be the busiest ever recorded. That’s because they’re forecasting that more than 44 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more between June 30 and July 4.

AAA's forecast by the numbers

  •  Travelers by automobile:

    37.5 million
  • Travelers by air:

    3.4 million
  • Travelers by train or other:

    3.2 million

  • National average gas price for regular as of June 20:

  • Projected increase in travelers in 2017 vs. 2016:

    +1.25 million
  • Years that travel volume will have increased:

    4 in a row

The factors that affect the forecast

  • Economy still going strong

    Overall economic growth has been strong, with the unemployment rate approaching historic lows.
  • Consumers feel optimistic

    Household net worth has gone up sharply, and consumer sentiment is near a 13-year high.
  • Gas prices stay flat

    The national average for a gallon of regular is around $2.28, which is 3 cents less than last year.

What it means for you

Road tripping in the family car is a classic method of summer travel: AAA Travel predicts that more than 37 million automobile travelers will account for 85 percent of all Independence Day weekend trips.

With so many on the road, it’s no surprise this is a busy time for AAA’s Roadside Assistance. AAA expects to rescue about 338,000 motorists this Independence Day weekend. Want to avoid being one? Here’s what you can do:

  • Get your battery checked

    If your battery is more than three years old, don’t risk getting stranded. One easy way to have it tested is with AAA Battery Service, which will come directly to you. Learn more about AAA Battery Service.
  • Check your tire pressure

    Underinflated or unevenly worn tires can lead to sudden blowouts, especially in hot weather. Simply monitoring tire pressure can go a long way toward preventing such interruptions.
  • Bring a spare key

    Despite the wide adoption of wireless “smart” keys, AAA hasn't seen a significant reduction in lockout calls. Having a backup key can’t prevent a lockout, but can make it much easier to resolve.

  • Get a checkup

    Dead batteries and flat tires are most common, but AAA tows lots of vehicles with unforeseen engine, transmission, and brake issues.  Not sure where to go? Consider a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Pack an emergency kit

    Every vehicle should have a kit with a phone charger, flashlight, first-aid kit, tire pressure gauge, adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables, emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, and snacks.
  • Get the Auto Club App

    Whether you’re looking to map a route, find low gas prices, request Roadside Assistance, or find an Approved Auto Repair facility, the Auto Club App makes it simple. Learn more about the Auto Club App.