Record July 4th Travel Predicted

June 29, 2004
Filed under Trailer News

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Strong travel demand and a slight easing of gas prices from recent records will keep
Americans traveling in potentially record-high numbers this July 4th holiday, according to
the American Automobile Association (AAA). AAA estimates that 39.4 million Americans will
travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, up 3.4 percent from the 38.2 million who
traveled last year. Approximately 34.4 million travelers (87 percent of all holiday
travelers) expect to go by motor vehicle, a 3 percent increase from the 33.3 million who
drove a year ago. “Americans’ strong desire to travel will overcome the highest-ever July
4th gas prices and increased airfares and lodging costs, producing potentially record
travel this holiday weekend,” said AAA Travel Vice President Sandra Hughes. “The recent dip
in gas prices – the national average is down about 12 cents from the record it hit over the
Memorial Day holiday – will help keep gasoline a relatively small part of most Americans’
vacation costs.” (A year ago, gas prices were about 43 cents per gallon lower than today’s
$1.933 national average for self-serve unleaded.) This period is traditionally “the
heaviest travel period of the summer, with trips ranging from weekend getaways and nearby
family reunions to far flung exotic trips and extended road trips,” said Hughes.
“Americans’ travel plans this summer appear a bit more ambitious than last year.” The
greatest number of July 4th auto travelers will originate in the Southeast with 8.7
million, followed by the West, 8.5 million; Midwest, 6.7 million; Northeast, 5.6 million;
and Great Lakes, 4.9 million. Oceans and beaches top the list of preferred destinations
this holiday with 24 percent of travel volume. Cities tied with towns/rural areas with 22
percent each, followed by lakes, 12 percent; mountains, 8 percent; theme/amusement parks, 3
percent; and state/national parks, 2 percent. Another 5 percent responded with other, and 2
percent said they didn’t know. Bunking in with friends and family will be the accommodation
of choice for 35 percent of July 4th travelers, followed by 33 percent staying at a hotel
or motel. Other lodging choices include camper/trailer/RV/tent, 11 percent; a rented
cabin/condo, 9 percent; an owned cabin/condo at 5 percent; and a bed and breakfast for 1
percent.

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