ORLANDO, Fla.—A study released by AAA found that this Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails, and waterways to honor the red, white, and blue. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, June 30 to July 4, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever. While the number of travelers has boomed, hotel rates are expected to remain the same as last year, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $185 per night.
“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A historic 44.2 million Americans will travel to celebrate our nation’s freedom this year, adding to an already bustling summer travel season.”
More Travelers Will Drive, Fly, and Use Other Modes of Transportation
Overall, 44.2 million travelers are expected to travel this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016. Of those, 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year, which may be due in part to lower gas prices compared to one year ago.
Another 3.44 million people are taking to the skies, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over last year. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 10 percent lower this year, with an average round trip ticket landing at $186. The remaining 3.27 million travelers—an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016—will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains, and buses.
Top Travel Destinations For Americans
With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel based on AAA’s summer travel bookings. The top destinations are as follows.
- Orlando, Florida
- Vancouver, Canada
- Cancun, Mexico
- Seattle, Washington
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Anaheim, California
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Montego Bay, Jamaica