With the Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year, the number of travelers will likely be on the rise as families and friends meet to attend parades, barbeques, community events and more.
This Independence Day holiday weekend will bring out the highest number of travelers since 2010 as more than 4.8 million Californians are expected to travel 50 miles or more away from home for the first summer vacation of the year, according to AAA projections. The travel company’s latest travel survey reveals that this represents a 0.5 percent increase from 2014.
“Overall, Californians are traveling in record numbers, driven by a stronger economy and rising income,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “And despite recent spikes in fuel prices, this upcoming three-day weekend provides a welcomed pause for those planning a holiday road trip.”
AAA projects approximately 3.8 million Californians will drive to reach their holiday destinations. That’s a 0.4 percent increase when compared to travel figures from 2014. Air travel will increase by 1.8 percent with more than 573,000 travelers expected to take to the skies. More than 424,000 state residents plan to travel by other modes of transportation, such as rail, bus and watercraft. This represents a decrease of 0.4 percent when compared to travel figures from last year.
Nationally, AAA forecasts more than 41 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, representing a 0.7 percent increase compared to last year.
Holiday weekend airfares are expected to increase by 6 percent with the lowest round-trip rate averaging $227 ticket to the top 40 U.S. air routes, according to the AAA Leisure Travel Index. Hotel rates at AAA Three Diamond lodgings are increasing by 9 percent this year, averaging $195 per night.
As part of AAA's on-going commitment to keeping the roads safe on holidays, AAA's Tipsy Tow Program will offer a free tow for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Members and non-members alike can call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow of up to 10 miles.
“Just tell the AAA operator, ‘I need a Tipsy Tow,’ and a truck will be on its way,” said Harris. “Service is restricted to a one-way ride for the driver and his or her vehicle to the driver’s home.”