Record numbers of Americans and Floridians will be hitting the road to celebrate Independence Day.
AAA released a study this week finding 46.9 million Americans are traveling more than 50 miles for Independence Day. That is a 5 percent increase from last year and the highest that AAA has found in its almost two decades of conducting this survey. While 39.7 million Americans will drive, almost 4 million will travel by air. AAA defines the holiday as starting on Tuesday, July 3 and going through Sunday, July 8. July 3 is expected to be the most busy day in that period.
Vicky Evans, the assistant VP of Travel Sales Development for AAA and the Auto Club Group, said the high number of travelers is the result of the good economy and having the holiday fall on a Wednesday, giving some families more flexibility.
“We are already seeing a busy summer travel season and Independence Day will be no exception,” said Evans said on Thursday. “Consumers remain confident in the economy and have additional disposable income to put toward a summer getaway.”
The roads will be busy in the Sunshine State with 2.4 Floridians will be traveling on the highways–up 6.2 percent from last year–and 184,000 by plane.
Floridians should also be prepared to share their roadways with tourists as AAA found Orlando will be the top travel destination for the holiday. Still, large cities could see traffic problems, especially on Tuesday, July 3.
“With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” says Scott Sedlik, the general manager and vice president of the public sector of INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.