Travel-starved Americans are planning to celebrate Independence Day by leaving town.
AAA predicts this holiday weekend will be the second-busiest travel day on record, with an estimated 47 million people expected to take a plane, train, or car to some destination. Despite the highest gas prices the U.S. has seen since 2014, road trips are the clear preference for travel this year. AAA forecasts 43.6 million of those traveling will be hopping in their cars and trucks to get to their destination.
That would put this year behind only 2019, when 48.9 million people traveled. It’s also way ahead of last year, when only 34.2 million Americans took a July 4th vacation due to the pandemic.
If you’re planning a road trip getaway this weekend, make sure you fill up before you leave town. Experts say the driver shortage plaguing the fuel delivery industry remains a problem, and it is leading to gas stations around the country running out of fuel. NBC News reports stations in Colorado, the Florida Keys as well as parts of Iowa, Ohio, Washington and Oregon have all reported recent outages lasting between 12 and 48 hours. When you see pumps at gas stations bagged, that indicates an outage.
Here’s some positive news. The airline industry should see a nice bounce back after more than a year of crippling losses. More than 3.5 million Americans will board a plane for the Independence Day holiday. That will put air travel at 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Paula Twidale, senior VP of AAA Travel, said all indications are that Americans are ready to resume traveling.