More Travelers, Cheaper Gas & Higher Hotel Prices on Independence Day

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independence day travel 2015
Independence Day fireworks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. July 4, 2007.

Independence Day Travel to Increase

I really love when AAA releases their estimates before a holiday. While there really isn’t any concrete about the figures they release, AAA normally has a pretty decent understanding of the travel industry and trends both up and down.

Today they released their estimates for Independence Day travel. Among the highlights of their findings are:

  • 41.9 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. The most since 2007 and up .7 percent from last year.
  • 35.5 million of those people will be driving to their destination.
  • Gas prices during the holiday weekend are to be the lowest during the same period in at least five years.
  • Hotels will be more expensive. The average 2 diamond hotel will run $145 per night and the average 3 diamond hotel will run $195.
  • Airfare is 6% higher than last year with the average airfare on the top 40 domestic routes costing $227.

You can find the full details of the AAA estimates here.

independence day travel 2015
One of my favorite Independence Day experiences. Sioux Falls.

Analysis

What is fantastic about these reports is I can see how much people are paying for travel and how I could do it differently. Why pay $145 for a 2 diamond hotel when I could just use points? (Probably not so easy if planning at the last minute.) Heck, why even pay full price for gas when there are fuel points, discount gas cards on eBay and of course Amex Offers that allow me to purchase gift cards at a discount.

With all of that said, there is something magical about a summer road trip in America. It really is fantastic and something that everyone should experience. Our first real road trip was our 3 month cross country trek in 2007. On that Independence Day we enjoyed the hospitality of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and were humbled by the small town feel as we sat in the fairgrounds, listening to the local orchestra play patriotic music as fireworks shot into the sky. Americana at its finest.

Conclusion

I am glad to see that more people are getting out and traveling. For quite a few years people clamped down and stayed home. Now it seems that everyone is trying to make up for that. While this trend is great for the travel industry in general, it really isn’t great for us, since full hotels/airplanes mean less award availability.

Are you traveling this Independence Day weekend? Let us know the details in the comments!


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3 COMMENTS

    • I look forward to reading it. AAA is generally very accurate since they have access to a wide variety of stats. Like you say though, there is always conflicting information.

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