Updated March 23 at 4:23pm

Fourth of July travel projections tie 10-year high


PROVIDENCE – AAA Southern New England projects that 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their home during the Fourth of July holiday, a 4.9 increase over the 40.3 million who traveled last year.

The trade group’s estimate for Independence Day travel will tie the past decade’s previous high mark, set in 2007.

Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday – as it did in 2007 – the calendar plays a role in driving holiday travel volume since the mid-week holidays expands the normal five-day travel period to six days, with the option of including a weekend and two work days on either side of the actual holiday.

According to a survey of traveler intentions, 54 percent of travelers plan to begin their trips between Friday, June 29 and Sunday, July 1, with June 29 being the single day with the most expected travel prior to July 4.

“AAA’s projection for a decade-high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” AAA Southern New England Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Lloyd P. Albert said in prepared remarks.

“This holiday will continue a trend where travelers indicate a determination to travel while actively seeking value-added travel options and activities,” added Albert.

Roughly 35.5 million people plan to travel by automobile during this holiday, setting the high mark for the decade as 84 percent of all Fourth of July travelers choose this form of transportation.

Overall travel out of New England is expected to grow 4.9 percent from 2011 numbers, and travel by car is expected to increase 3.9 percent while air travel is expected to rise 9.6 percent compared with the 2011 holiday.

The AAA forecast showed that 14.4 percent of New Englanders intend to travel this holiday period, higher than the 13.3 percent national forecast.

AAA’s holiday projections are based on economic forecasting data and research by Boston-based economic research and consulting firm IHS Global Insight.


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