Auto Club: The July 4th travel volume is expected to be even closer to pre-pandemic levels than it was on Memorial Day
The Southern California Automobile Club predicts a strong recovery in July 4th travel over the Independence Day weekend, even stronger than during the Memorial Day holiday.
The increase is due to increased vaccinations, more states opening services and travel destinations, declining COVID-19 statistics and a pent-up demand. More than 3.3 million Southern California are expected to travel over the vacation weekend – a 46% increase from last year. Just over 2.2 million traveled to Southern California over last year’s holidays, a 35% decrease from 2019 and the lowest number since 2009 since the Great Recession began.
July 4th travel by numbers
Just over 86% of all travelers are expected to get to their destination by car, while more than 13% fly and about 1% travel by other means, as cruises from American ports are canceled and fewer people use trains or buses.
“Car and air travel are both growing in strength this July 4th holiday weekend as many states have reduced or lifted COVID-19 restrictions,” said Filomena Andre, vice president of travel for the auto club. “We anticipate road trips will be the highest since AAA began recording and air travel since AAA began collecting data in 2001.”
However, as restrictions vary by destination, Andre recommends travelers prepare in advance by working with an AAA travel advisor or plan their route in advance using the AAA TripTik (TripTik.aaa.com) and COVID-19 restriction map to plan.
The most popular destinations for July 4th
The five most popular Independence Day destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a survey of Auto Club travel advisors, are:
Hawaii is the most popular destination among local travelers who fly. Due to the expected higher volume, the Auto Club recommends that air travelers allow more time for check-in and the TSA.
More than 115,000 California drivers require AAA roadside assistance
The Northern California Auto Club and AAA anticipate rescuing more than 112,000 drivers across the state during the July 1 through July 5 holiday season. With many vehicles idling and possibly neglected maintenance during the pandemic, the Auto Club strongly recommends having vehicles checked by a qualified mechanic before setting out on a drive.
Southern California gas prices are well above $ 4 per gallon, reaching levels not seen since 2014.