AAA says 2017 July 4th holiday travel will break record

Updated Jul 4, 2017

2017 Fourth Of July Travel Forecast InfographicAAA reports the 2017 Independence Day holiday travel period, from June 30 to July 4, will be the most traveled in the U.S. during that period that has ever been recorded.

The group says 44.2 million people are expected to travel more than 50 miles away from home on U.S. roads, rails, waterways and in the air during this time, which is 1.25 million more than last year.

“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” says Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A historic 44.2 million Americans will travel to celebrate our nation’s freedom this year, adding to an already bustling summer travel season.”

The majority of travelers, 37.5 million, will drive to their destinations. This is 2.9 percent more than 2016. AAA says lower gas prices, which are four cents per gallon less this year than last, is a top factor for the increased driving.

Vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. have been on the rise for several years. In 2016, motorists drove 3.2 trillion miles, the fifth straight year of increase mileage on public roads.

AAA also created a list of the top 10 destinations during the Independence Day holiday based on its summer travel bookings. They are:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Vancouver, Canada
  3. Cancun, Mexico
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  7. Anaheim, California
  8. Anchorage, Alaska
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

All travel predictions for this holiday are based on economic forecasting and research by HIS Markit, which has partnered with AAA since 2009 to analyze travel trends during major holidays. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.