A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day, according to AAA.
That’s a five percent increase over last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking July 4th travel 18 years ago.
INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts that travel times in the most congested U.S. cities could be twice as long as normal. The Tuesday before the holiday will be the busiest day.
“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a written statement. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”
One reason for the increase is that this year the holiday falls on a Wednesday, giving people the flexibility to take a long weekend before or after. The Independence Day holiday period runs from Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.