Americans to set road trip record for July 4 despite sky-high gas costs, AAA predicts

(CNN) — Americans are feeling the warmth on the gas pump, however that will not maintain them in park, AAA predicts.

The automotive and trip-planning group’s annual forecast for the July 4 vacation weekend says that 42 million Americans — greater than ever — will take a road trip of fifty miles or extra.

That’s despite gas costs hitting a record earlier this month. The nationwide common per gallon on Monday stood at $4.98, simply pennies off the excessive of $5.02 reached per week earlier.

A mixture of vacationers and commuters may drive journey instances to double the traditional size at peak factors on Thursday and Friday evenings, visitors specialists at Inrix stated.

It warned among the most congested routes then will embrace highways round Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.

The greatest time to journey from Thursday via Friday is early or late within the day, Inrix projected. It stated congestion on Sunday and Monday needs to be decrease. July 4 lands on Monday this yr.

Gas-saving ideas

Heavy visitors causes slow-going in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 16, 2022. This will seemingly be a web site acquainted to loads of July 4 drivers this yr.

Kris Craig/The Providence Journal/USA Today Network

People decided to hit the road nonetheless have methods to no less than ease the sting of gas costs. A couple of methods embrace:

• Bypass stations simply off main highways: “It’s normally greatest not use the stations proper alongside the interstate,” suggested Ellen Edmonds, supervisor of AAA public relations, in a current interview with CNN Travel. Instead, “drive a couple of miles drive down the road. Look for residential areas or distant rural areas.”

• Get stingy at costly gas stations: If you are working actual low on gas and also you’re caught in an space with jacked-up costs, by all means pull over to refuel. Just do not refill all the best way. Pump sufficient gas to safely get to a location the place stations usually cost much less.

• Consider a “nearcation”: There are choices between settling for one more staycation and an epic, cross-country road trip that might bust your price range. It’s the “nearcation.” Think about locations nearer to residence but far sufficient away to really feel like a bona fide journey.

In the skies

A Boeing 737-932ER operated by Delta takes off from JFK International Airport. AAA says only about 7% of people traveling for the July 4 holiday will be flying.

A Boeing 737-932ER operated by Delta takes off from JFK International Airport. AAA says solely about 7% of individuals touring for the July 4 vacation will likely be flying.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/File

While the roads will likely be packed, fewer Americans will likely be flying for the vacation, AAA expects.

It stated the three.55 million folks projected to take to the skies over Independence Day is simply 7% of vacationers. That’s the bottom share since 2011, when the economic system was nonetheless rebuilding from the Great Recession.

AAA says airfare is about 14% costlier than in 2021.

The fare-watchers at Hopper say costs paid this month are down about $20 from the common in May, however attributes that to vacationers buying inexpensive fall flights. The charge for a median lodge room is 23% increased than final yr, AAA stated.

Altogether, AAA stated journey demand is “not truly fizzling out” despite the upper bills.

“People are prepared for a break and despite issues costing extra, they’re discovering methods to nonetheless take that much-needed trip,” stated Paula Twidale of AAA Travel.

Flight cancellation recommendation

CNN Travel requested Kathleen Bangs, a former industrial airline pilot and spokesperson for FlightConscious, what vacationers can do to brace themselves for cancellations and delays this summer time.

She supplied the following tips based mostly on a dialog she had on Monday with an worker at a significant US airline:

• Leave cushion time: Don’t journey on the day of an vital occasion. Plan to arrive no less than at some point early.

• Apps are your buddy: If your flight is canceled, reschedule your journey on the airline’s app. You’re seemingly to have the opportunity to rebook quicker and you will have entry to seats that might most likely be filling up as you waited on the cellphone.

• Use a carry-on for necessities: Pack something you may want inside one or two days in your carry-on. Don’t examine prescription medicines or different necessities.

• Stay thoughtful: Don’t take your frustration out on customer support staff. They aren’t making the operations choices.

Top picture: A motorist fills up with gasoline in Houston. (Aaron M. Sprecher/AP)

CNN’s Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter contributed to this text.

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