AAA: 1.3 million Virginians will travel for July 4 holiday

aaaA record breaking 1.3 million Virginians (1,347,918) and nearly 49 million Americans, are making plans to celebrate the Independence Holiday with a getaway this year.

AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.

Nationwide, that is a 4.1% increase from last year’s travel volume and 4.6% increase for travelers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Most travelers, 9 out of 10, will choose to travel by taking the all-American road trip and will face the busiest travel volume on Wednesday, July 3, according to INRIX, a global mobility analytics company.

In Virginia, gas prices are on average 20 cents per gallon cheaper than this same time last year (Tuesday, June 26) and at $2.40 per gallon, Virginia is the 10th lowest in the country to buy gasoline.  In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest their hard-earned money in travel this summer.

“This is the highest number of travelers we have ever seen in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Independence Holiday,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA. “As more than a million Virginians will drive to celebrate the holiday, AAA is reminding everyone to put safety first, buckle up and drive distraction free.”

Top Independence Day travel destinations

Fun-in-the-sun locales like Orlando and Honolulu lead the top 10 the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Independence Day, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Anaheim, California
  6. New York, New York
  7. Boston, Massachusetts
  8. Maui, Hawaii
  9. Anchorage, Alaska
  10. Chicago, Illinois

For those travelers planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the most popular spots for international vacations this Independence Day, with Vancouver, Canada — a top departure port for Alaskan cruises — rounding out the top five.

Travelers paying more for July 4 car rentals and airfares

Some of the savings travelers are enjoying from lower gas prices will go toward other travel costs this holiday, which are trending higher. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares on average are 10% more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5% higher than last year, at $69 daily. Meanwhile, midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.

AAA to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists

AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists nationwide at the roadside this Independence Day holiday and more than 6,700 in Virginia (6,767). Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble.

AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a AAA Car Care Insurance Travel Center or trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip.

AAA Car Care Insurance Travel Centers in the Richmond area are offering a free 42-point vehicle inspection to help motorists prepare for their upcoming holiday road trip.

AAA reminds travelers that it’s not too late to plan an Independence Day trip. Visit AAA.com/Travel to get started.


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