AAA predicts that Americans will set a new road trip record on July 4, despite sky-high gas prices.

AAA predicts that Americans will feel the heat at the pump but it won't stop them from driving.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
02 July 2022 Saturday 06:15
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AAA predicts that Americans will set a new road trip record on July 4, despite sky-high gas prices.

AAA predicts that Americans will feel the heat at the pump but it won't stop them from driving.

According to the annual forecast of the automotive and trip-planning groups, 42 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the July 4 holiday weekend.

This is despite gas prices reaching a record high earlier in the month.

Experts at Inrix say that a combination of commuters and vacationers could increase travel time to twice the length at peak points on Thursdays and Fridays evenings.

It said that some of the most congested routes will be highways around Atlanta and Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Inrix predicted that Thursday through Friday is the best time to travel. According to Inrix, congestion should be lower on Sundays and Mondays. This year, July 4 falls on Monday.

While traffic will be heavy, Americans are expected to fly less during the holiday period. AAA predicts that the percentage of travelers flying will drop to its lowest level since 2011.

Gas-saving tips

There are still ways for people who want to get on the road to reduce the impact of high gas prices. Here are some strategies:

* Avoid bypass stations near major highways: Ellen Edmonds (manager of AAA public relations), advised that it is best to avoid stations along interstates in an interview with CNN Travel. Instead, drive a few miles down the road. You can find remote rural areas and residential areas.

* Don't be stingy at high-priced gas stations. If you run out of gas and are stuck in an area that has skyrocketing prices, pull over to refill. Don't go overboard. You should have enough gas to get safely to the station that charges less.

* Think about a "nearcation". There are two options: You can choose to settle for a staycation or go on an epic cross-country road trip that will blow your budget. It's called the "nearcation". It's the "nearcation" of places that are close to home but far enough from home to feel like a real journey.

The skies are blue

AAA anticipates that while traffic will be jammed on the roads, Americans will fly less for the holiday.

According to it, 7% of the 3,55 million travelers who will fly to Independence Day are expected to be there. This is the lowest percentage since 2011, when the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession.

AAA estimates that airfares are about 14% less expensive in 2021 than they were in 2021.

Hopper's fare-watchers say that prices this month were $20 lower than the May average, but attribute this to travelers buying less expensive fall flights. AAA reported that the average rate for a hotel room is 23% more than last year.

AAA stated that travel demand is not declining despite higher costs.

Paula Twidale, AAA Travel said that people are looking for vacations and that even though it is more expensive, they still want to take them.

Flight cancellation advice

CNN Travel asked Kathleen Bangs (future commercial airline pilot) and spokesperson for FlightAware what travelers can do this summer to prepare for cancellations or delays.

These tips were based on a recent conversation she had with an employee of a major US airline.

* Don't travel on an important day without cushion time You should plan to arrive at the airport at least one day before your event.

* Apps are your friend. If your flight is cancelled, you can reschedule on the airline's mobile app. You will likely be able to book faster and have access to seats that are probably already full.

* Keep your essentials in a carry-on: You can carry everything you need for one to two days in your carry on. Do not check prescription medication or other essentials.

* Be considerate: Don’t let your frustrations get to customer service staff. They don't make the operational decisions.

Click here for more information on how to minimize the possibility of your flight being cancelled or delayed.

Top image: In Houston, a motorist fills up on gasoline. (Aaron M. Sprecher/AP)