Fewer Americans will travel over the July 4 holiday this year, and those who take trips will stay closer to home, according to a forecast by AAA.
The number of Americans traveling will drop 0.8 percent and the distance traveled will fall 15 percent from a year ago, when July 4 fell on a Wednesday and the holiday period was a day longer, said Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the biggest U.S. motoring organization.
Approximately 40.8 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the holiday period, defined as Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. AAA counts the holiday period from the day before the holiday through the following weekend. That’s down from 41.1 million a year ago. The average distance traveled will be 613 miles, 110 miles less than last year. Spending will fall to $747 from $749, based on the median of responses, AAA said.
“This projection is due to the calendar effect of one fewer day in the holiday period and economic growth that is not robust enough,” Robert Darbelnet, AAA president and chief executive officer, said in a statement today.
Fewer people will travel by automobile. Eighty-four percent of travelers, or 34.4 million, will choose to drive, 0.7 percent below the 34.7 million who took to the roads last year.
The number of air travelers will increase to 3.07 million from 3.06 million in 2012, according to AAA.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, was $3.603 a gallon, AAA said yesterday on its website. Prices were the lowest level since May 15, down 18.3 percent from the year’s high of $3.786 on Feb. 26 and 10.6 cents above a year earlier.
The projections by AAA are based on research and forecasts from IHS Global Insight.
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