Industry NewsAAA: Over 70.9 Million Travelers to Go 50 Miles or More for...

AAA: Over 70.9 Million Travelers to Go 50 Miles or More for July 4th Week

WASHINGTON, D.C.—AAA projects 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the July 4th holiday travel period. For the first time, AAA looked at the entire July 4th week, plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday. This year’s projected number of travelers for that period is a 5 percent increase compared to 2023 and an 8 percent increase over 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over the July 4th week—that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over the July 4th week. AAA car rental partner Hertz says Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the cities displaying the highest rental demand during the holiday week. The busiest pick-up days are projected to be Friday, June 28, Saturday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 3.

Gas prices are lower than last year when the national average was $3.53. Pump prices will likely continue going down leading up to July 4th. At that point, they will likely level off and remain stable until after Labor Day, similar to last year. An important caveat is hurricane season—underway now—which could affect gas prices should a storm negatively impact Gulf Coast oil production and refining centers.

The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7 percent compared to last year and a 12 percent increase over 2019. AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2 percent cheaper this July 4th week compared to last year, and the average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is $800. Airports will be packed throughout the week.

More than 4.6 million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. This category is seeing an increase of 9 percent compared to last year, but this year’s number is shy of 2019’s figure of 4.79 million. Cruising continues its post-pandemic comeback. This time of year, Alaska cruises are in high demand, making Seattle and Anchorage top domestic destinations. Cruise travelers are also finding deals this summer. With new ships coming onto the market—and going for a premium—some cruise lines have been offering targeted discounts to fill older inventory for remaining cabins.

Best/Worst Times to Drive

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, says the worst times to travel by car before and on July 4th are between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Drivers should hit the road in the morning, and travelers returning on Monday, July 8th should avoid rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon.

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3rd, as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7th, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67 percent longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”

Top Destinations

This July 4th week, travelers are cooling off in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, as well as by the ocean. Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage are top destinations because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Beaches in South Florida, Honolulu, Punta Cana, and Barcelona are in high demand. Historical sites in European cities like London, Rome, Dublin, Paris, and Athens are also popular. The top 10 domestic and international destinations are based on AAA booking data:


  • Seattle, Washington
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Miami, Florida
  • New York, New York
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Anaheim/Los Angeles, California


  • Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  • London, England
  • Rome, Italy
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Paris, France
  • Calgary, A.B., Canada
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Athens, Greece
  • Barcelona, Spain