AUSTIN, Texas — Approximately 3.7 million Texans are expected to travel this Fourth of July weekend, a new all-time high, according to AAA Texas travel forecast data.
This is up 48% from 2020 and 3% from 2019. 3.3 million, or 91%, of those travelers are expected to travel by car and 338,000 by plane.
This is the highest number of Texans expected to drive to their Fourth of July destinations since AAA began collecting holiday travel forecast data in 2000. However, experts with AAA say that gas prices will be the highest they’ve ever seen since Fourth of July 2014.
Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas, said travelers need to plan ahead and have a backup plan.
“If you’re leaving Friday, try to leave Friday morning,” Armbruster said. “If you’re leaving on Thursday, try to leave after 7 p.m. But, certainly, the roads are going to be packed, probably more packed than we’ve seen before. And, certainly, there are areas, reports of some areas at least, that gas stations are low on gas.”
Armbruster said if travelers are renting a car, they should stay in touch with the company due to a rental car shortage. Also, he said air travelers should be prepared for potential flight cancellations and delays.
Nationally, AAA estimates Fourth of July travel will increase by 40% across the U.S. this year compared to last. It expects 47.7 million travelers, the second-highest Fourth of July travel weekend on record.
AAA recorded travel volumes after the holiday in 2020 for comparison since it did not issue a travel forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the biggest June for travel bookings that we’ve ever seen,” Armbruster said. “People have been cooped up for a year-and-a-half. They’re ready to get out. They’re ready to get out of the house, ready to travel and ready to make new memories.”
AAA defines the 2021 “Independence Day holiday travel period” as Thursday, July 1, through Monday, July 5.
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