Yankee Doodle: Fourth of July Travel is Dandy

More than 812,000 Arizonans to travel for Independence Day 

Phoenix, June 20, 2013. Americans celebrate their independence on July 4. For travelers, this means painting the roads and skies with stars and stripes for the second holiday of summer.

According to AAA, more than 812,000 Arizonans are projected to travel over the upcoming holiday. This is stable compared to year-ago figures, which were only slightly higher (by +0.2 percent). Nationally, the full-service travel agency expects 40.8 million people to travel. This represents a 0.8 percent decrease from 2012.  

The anticipated decline in holiday travel is predominantly due to a shorter holiday period, according to AAA Travel experts.

“With July 4 landing on a Thursday this year, the holiday period has returned to the standard five-day holiday, compared to the six-day period in 2012,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Arizona. “Despite this, Arizona travel is in line with year-ago figures. AAA anticipates July 4 will remain the busiest holiday of the summer travel season.”

Four highlights from AAA’s 2013 Independence Day forecast include:

  1. Busiest travel days
    July 3 and 7 will be the busiest travel days for the upcoming holiday. One in three travelers will depart July 3 and nearly 40 percent will return July 7. To avoid holiday traffic, avoid peak travel times, such as late afternoon or early evening rush hour.
     
  2. Road trips remain strong
    About 651,000 Arizonans plan to drive to their holiday destination. This is consistent with last year’s data. Road trips will remain the dominant mode of transportation, as eight in 10 Arizona travelers will go by car. Arizonans will pay $3.485 per gallon to fill up this year, compared to $3.562 last year.
     
  3. Air travel gets a lift
    More than 83,000 Arizonans plan to fly to their Independence Day destination. This represents a 0.8 percent increase from last year. The shorter holiday period is one factor behind this trend.
     
  4. Food and beverage, accommodations, gas consume bulk of budget
    M
    edian spending among Arizonans is $591. The bulk of this – $361 – will go to food and beverage (23 percent), accommodations (21 percent) and fuel (17 percent). Remaining expenditures will be divided among entertainment (13 percent), other transportation (11 percent), shopping (10 percent) and miscellaneous expenses (5 percent).

AAA offers a variety of mobile travel resources including AAA Mobile, a free app for Smartphone users. The app uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby discounts, summon roadside assistance, find current gas prices and more. Travelers can learn more about this resource at AAA.com/mobile.

Research for Independence Day travel projections are derived from IHS Global Insight, which conducts special research for AAA. The Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as trips that include travel of 50 miles or more during the five-day period from Wednesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 7. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

AAA is the largest leisure travel agency in North America. For more information, visit http://aaa.com/travel.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.