More Georgians are expected to travel on this Independence Day holiday

ATLANTA – Demand for travel is rising as the July 4 holiday weekend is estimated to be the second largest since 2000.


Independence Day will be the second-largest since 2000 as travel volumes continue to trend upward with no signs of slowing. AAA forecasts 1.5 million Georgians will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4). That’s 3.3% up from last year and just over 4% since 2019.

“The expected volume of travel over Independence Day is a clear sign that summer travel is in full swing,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel at AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Earlier this year we started to see that the demand for travel is increasing and not decreasing. People are ready for a break and even though things cost more, they’re finding ways to take a much-needed vacation.”

GEORGIA Independence Day vacation travelers
In total automobile Air Other (bus, train, cruise)
2022 (forecast) 1,547,814 1,393,987 102,354 51,472
2021 (Current) 1,497,933 1,376,719 100,757 20,457
2019 (Current) 1,484,972 1,293,920 111,079 79,973
Change (2019 to 2022) +4.2% +7.7% -7.8% -35.6%
Change (2021 to 2022) +3.3% +1.2% +1.5% 151%
Share of travelers by means of transport (2022)
automobile Air Miscellaneous
90% 7% 3%

While all modes of transport are forecast to be stronger than last year, the biggest surprise is motoring. Despite record-high gas prices, AAA forecasts that over 1.3 million Georgians will take a vacation trip – the most since 2001.

Although air travel is expected to be up 1.5% year-on-year, domestic travel volume is expected to remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Recent troubles with air travel and ongoing concerns about cancellations and delays are likely the catalyst.

“Travelling by car offers a level of convenience and flexibility that people are looking for in the face of recent flying challenges,” continued Haas. “But not all destinations are accessible by car, which doesn’t mean you have to give up your holiday plans. The best advice we can give travelers is to work with a travel agent who can help you plan for the unexpected – like a flight cancellation. You are your best advocate.”

The travel volume follows similar trends nationwide. AAA forecasts 47.9 million people will drive 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. This is a 4% increase from 2021, putting travel volume just slightly below 2019. Car trips are also forecast to set new records.

In total automobile Air Other (bus, train, cruise)
2022 (forecast) 47.9 million 42.0 million 3.55 million 2.42 million
2021 (Current) 46.2 million 41.8 million 3.50m 900,000
2019 (Current) 49.0 million 41.5 million 3.91 million 3.54 million
Change (2019 to 2022) -2% 1.1% -9.3% -31.6%
Change (2021 to 2022) +4% 0.4% 1.5% 167.9%
Share of travelers by means of transport (2022)
automobile Air Miscellaneous
88% 7% 5%

The travel prices are higher than last year

  • Air—AAA notes that the average lowest fare is 14% higher than last year at $201/ticket.
  • Hotels – Mid-range hotel rates are about 23% higher year-over-year, with average lowest nightly rates at AAA-approved hotels at $244/night.
  • Gas Prices – Gas prices for Independence Day are expected to be the most expensive for the holiday in history. Pump prices are 52% more expensive than a year ago. On Monday, the national average was $4.47. In recent years, the national average has been July 4thth was $2.91 (2021) and $2.58 (2019).
  • Rental Cars – Average daily rates for rental cars have continued to rise over the last year. As more people travel, these prices continue to rise due to ongoing supply chain issues coupled with growing demand. While daily rental car prices are down 34% year-on-year, with the average lowest price being $110/day, prices are on average $40/day higher than in 2019.

Travel stress-free this summer

With crowded streets and busy airports, AAA wants to help travelers prepare for a stress-free 4th of Julyth Celebration. It is important for travelers to be prepared and flexible to minimize stress and enjoy the vacation. AAA offers the following advice:

  • Have a plan A, B and C. Flights, rental cars, accommodation, tours, cruises and other activities are in high demand and availability can be limited, affecting prices. It’s unlikely to find last minute deals so it’s recommended to keep an eye out for discounts and bonuses that are usually available through a membership such as AAA. This is also another time when travel agents are a great resource as they may be aware of an offer that may not be readily available to the public.
  • BET on a trouble free ride. AAA expects to be able to respond to over 446,000 roadside assistance calls over the Independence Day holiday weekend. Make sure you do a full vehicle inspection before any long journey, especially on components like a vehicle bbattery, eengine and tAggravation. Heat drains car batteries, so summer is a time of unexpectedly dead batteries. AAA brings a battery to members in need and offers discounts on the purchase price. Even a vehicle in tip-top shape can run into a problem, so it’s a good idea to pack a well-stocked emergency kit and have roadside assistance just in case.
  • Avoid the rush. Travel off-peak or on days or choose a hidden gem close to home. Based on AAA booking data, Friday July 1 is trending as the busiest day for air travel during the bank holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4), with Monday July 4 being the lightest day. For those traveling by road, the Thursday and Friday before the bank holiday are expected to be the busiest days. If you fly, plan to arrive at the airport several hours early.

Travel bookings are up 60%; Here are the top destinations

AAA booking data shows that big cities and international classics are the most popular destinations this Independence Day. AAA data shows that bookings for flights, rental cars, cruises, hotels and tours are up 60% year over year for major Independence Day destinations and 252% for international destinations.

Top Independence Day Destinations 2022
US destinations International destinations
Orlando,FL Vancouver, BC, Canada
Seattle, WA Paris, France
New York, NY London, United Kingdom
Anaheim, CA Rome, Italy
Anchorage, Ak Amsterdam, Netherlands
feet Lauderdale, FL Dublin, Ireland
Las Vegas, Nevada Calgary, AB, Canada
Honolulu, HI Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Denver, CO Cancun, Mexico
Chicago, IL Nassau, Bahamas

Road trips are king this Independence Day

Drivers should expect the longest travel delays heading towards the bank holiday weekend, particularly in the afternoons on Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July as commuters leave work early and mingle with holiday travellers. Drivers in major US metros could experience twice as long travel times compared to a normal trip.

“Even as fuel prices hit record highs, travelers are still anxious to hit the road this summer. We expect nationwide travel times to increase by around 50% compared to normal. Drivers in major metro areas face significantly more delays,” said Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. “Knowing when and where traffic jams form can help drivers avoid the stress of congestion. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoons.”

Daily worst and best travel times
Day worst time Best time
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m Before 7:00 a.m. / After 8:00 p.m
Friday 12:00-21:00 Before 10:00 a.m. / After 9:00 p.m
Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m Before 12:00 p.m. / After 19:00 p.m
Sunday Slight congestion expected throughout the day
Monday Slight congestion expected throughout the day
Source: INRIX
Worst corridors and travel times
subway area gear peak overload % above normal
Atlanta I-85 S, Clairmont Rd to MLK Dr Thursday, 2:30-4:30 p.m 134%
Source: INRIX

Remember – be kind and patient

It is important for those traveling this Independence Day to keep safety in mind for themselves and others. It’s easy to lose patience, but remember that everyone has one goal in common – to start the summer vacation safely.

Forecast methodology:

In partnership with AAA, S&P Global Market Intelligence, a leading global provider of financial information and solutions, has developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel. The economic variables used to predict travel for the current vacation are leveraged from S&P Global Market Intelligence’s proprietary databases. This data includes macroeconomic factors such as employment; Exit; household assets; asset prices including stock indices; Interest charges; Housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including gasoline prices, air travel and hotel stays. AAA and S&P Global Market Intelligence have quantified vacation travel volume since 2000.

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