VIRGINIA BEACH — Despite historically high gas prices, AAA is predicting a new record for car travel over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase, and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”
AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4), and car travel volume, even with national average gas prices going over the $5 mark, will break previous records as 42 million opt to drive this Independence Day, according to a press release from AAA Tidewater Virginia.
That is an increase of 3.7% over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019, according to AAA.
AAA says recent issues in air travel and ongoing concerns of cancelations and delays may be driving the increase, noting the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011.
“Traveling by car does provide a level of comfort and flexibility that people may be looking for given the recent challenges with flying,” explained Twidale. “But not all destinations are within driving distance, which doesn’t mean you have to abandon your vacation plans. The best advice we can give travelers is to consider working with a travel agent who can help plan for the unexpected — like a flight cancelation. They are your best advocate.”