By: Lanetra Bennett
July 3, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - AAA estimates 41 million people will travel for this Fourth of July weekend; 35 million by car.
"Half of that will be at our family reunion." Says, Stephanie Booker.
Booker's family was loaded up in a van and four-door sedan driving from Jacksonville to Alabama Thursday.
Her mom, Linda Carson, says, "There are some very radical drivers on the road right now that's weaving in and out. But, i just try to slow down and make sure that they pass me."
Harvey Cotton and his family are driving from St. Augustine to Arkansas.
"Got a side trip on the way back that the girls don't know about yet."
AAA says this year's Independence Day weekend travel is a 1.9 percent increase over last year, or a spike of more than five million drivers.
What's considered busy roadways differs for some. As one Malcolm Black talks about how smoothly things were going for their trip, his wife yelled out off camera that it's been busy.
Black says, "The highway's been pretty clear. It's been a nice drive."
As far as staying busy inside of the car, teenagers Carley and Courtney Cotton say, "I like to bring music, music, books, more music. Conversation. Yeah, Talk."
Driving to their holiday destinations will cost drivers. AAA says this weekend, drivers will pay the highest gas prices for the 4th of July since 2008.
The national average price of regular unleaded gas is $3.66. That's about the same price as a month ago. But, it's almost 20 cents higher than last year this time.
While gas prices may be keeping many people in town barbecuing in their own backyards this year, others say they're going to tough it out...and hit the road anyway this fourth of July weekend.
Eric Jeter is driving with his family from Valdosta to Panama City. "The farther you get down I-10 and into Florida, the closer to Panama City you get the higher they tend to be. It is what it is. You can't let stuff like that stop you from taking the kids to the beach for the Fourth."
The average price of gas in Florida and Georgia is lower than the national average. In Florida, it's $3.59 per gallon for regular unleaded and $3.57 in Georgia.
Drivers are urged to be safe by wearing seat belts, avoiding distractions, not drinking and driving, getting plenty of rest, and allowing extra travel time.
News Release: AAA South
June 26, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. — AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The majority of travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in 10 choosing to travel by automobile, the highest level since 2007. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 2 to Sunday, July 6.
“With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “About five million more Americans travel for this holiday compared to Memorial or Labor Day weekends. Traditionally, the majority of those celebrating our nation's independence take a road trip."
Highlights from 2014 Independence Day Travel Forecast include:
- Travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years and is expected to be more than six percent higher than the average of the past 10 years.
- Willingness to take on credit card debt, not an increase in income, is responsible for the increase in consumer spending that is spurring the rise in overall travel.
- Nearly five million more Americans are expected to travel for Independence Day than for Memorial Day.
- Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1 percent to 3.1 million travelers from 3.07 million last year.
- Travelers will encounter airfares five percent lower than last year and car rental costs that remain consistent with last year at $58.
- Hotel rates at AAA Two Diamond hotels are 15 percent higher than last year and Three Diamond hotels are nine percent more.