July 4th Holiday Travel Sets a New Record Across US and in Ohio

 While Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, the July 4th holiday kicks off the ‘family travel season’, with a record number of travelers as parents are unencumbered by school schedules and related obligations.TRV_July4-Forecast_Total_Square.png

AAA announced that nearly 71 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend. AAA looked at the entire July 4th week, plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday. This year’s projected number of travelers for that time period is a 5% increase compared to 2023 and an 8% increase over 2019. 

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over July 4th week.

The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019.

2.pngA closer look at Ohio reveals the record-breaking trend continues with 3.3 million Ohioans traveling for the holiday. That is a 5.3% increase. The majority of people will be driving to their destination – 3 million Ohioans. That is a 5.1% increase. With airfares down slightly from last year, about 120,000 Ohioans plan to take to the sky to reach their destination. That is a 4.1% increase.

As true with Memorial Day travel other travel (trains, buses and cruises) is making a big come-back. AAA is projecting 199,000 Ohio will travel by these ‘other’ modes.

“Social media regularly reminds parents that they only have ’18 summers’ with their kids. Mapping out family travel in advance will help them make the most of that precious time,” says Kara Hitchens, spokesperson for AAA. “While you don’t have to set every detail in stone, it’s important to start thinking about where you’d like to go and when, so you can budget accordingly, ensure availability and take advantage of applicable discounts and rewards.”

AAA Offers Tips for a Crowded Family Travel

  1. Plan ahead – AAA booking data reflects that, on average, travelers book about six months ahead but the more people who are traveling, the more critical it is to plan ahead. The earlier you book, the  better your chance to lock in favorable rates and take advantage of any applicable discounts for pre-paying.

AAA Tools and Resources:

  • AAA’s Family Travel Passport – The recently launched app gets everyone in on the planning, providing a survey the entire family fills out (kids over 4) to share their vacation preferences, favorite activities, and dream destinations.
  1. Work with a trusted travel advisor – A trusted advisor can help you explore options, book the best deals and advocate on your behalf should any issues arise, ensuring the best possible travel experience from beginning to end.

AAA Tools and Resources:

  1. Consider a cruise – Cruising continues to increase in popularity, especially for groups with travelers of all ages.Preferred state rooms and luxury accommodations are selling out further in advance. Anyone with a desire to cruise, whether a traditional Caribbean or a European River Cruise, is advised to book sooner rather than later to ensure flexibility and availability.

AAA Tools and Resources:

  1. Check everyone’s passport – If you are planning international travel, checking the expiration date on every family member’s passport should be priority one. Many countries require that the expiration date be at least 6 months after the last date of your trip. It often takes months, not weeks, to renew a passport so plan accordingly.

AAA Tools and Resources:

  • AAA Premier Members get passport photos for free at most AAA Retail locations.
  • AAA Members get expedited services at a discount through AAA partner RushMyPassport.
  1. Enroll the family in TSA PreCheck® – When flying with family, ease of travel is key. Enrolling your family members in TSA PreCheck® affords everyone an expedited experience through airport security.

AAA Tools and Resources:

  1.  Take advantage of discounts – Saving money does not have to mean sacrificing quality. Work with your travel advisor to identify discounts, rewards and additional opportunities for saving.

AAA Tools and Resources

  1. Consider travel insurance – Traveling with multiple family members increases the risk of someone getting sick or something unexpected derailing travel plans. A solid travel insurance policy provides a safety net should something unexpected happen ahead of or during your trip.

              AAA Tools and Resources:

  • Policies vary. Talk to a AAA Travel Advisor about options. They know you, your trip, your budget and your specific needs and can easily walk you through what travel insurance policy makes the most sense.

AAA reminds anyone planning family travel domestically that your AAA Membership travels with YOU, not a specific vehicle, so you can call for our Emergency Roadside Assistance whenever needed. Before hitting the road with loved ones, make sure your AAA Membership is up to date.  Take advantage of summer savings HERE.

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