AAA: This Independence Day will be Historic, More Americans to Travel than Ever Before

AAA: This Independence Day will be Historic, More Americans to Travel than Ever Before

This Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.

“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A historic 44.2 million Americans will travel to celebrate our nation’s freedom this year, adding to an already bustling summer travel season.”

The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4.

By the Numbers: Independence Day Travel Forecast

  • Overall, 44.2 million travelers are expected to travel this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
  • 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.
  • 3.44 million people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over last year.
  • 3.27 million travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

Gas prices cheaper than one year ago
The national average gas price is four cents cheaper than this same time last year and a contributing factor to the increase in travelers on the roads this Independence Day. With today’s national average price for a gallon of gas at $2.28, prices remain historically low for the summer travel season. However, consumers may see prices increase, albeit by pennies, closer to the holiday weekend, similar to the Memorial Day gas price trend.

More people will drive, fly and use other modes of travel
The vast majority of travelers—37.5 million Americans—will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 4.6 percent over last year, with 3.44 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 1.4 percent, to 3.27 million travelers.

AAA to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day
AAA expects to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.

5 Essential Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Road Warriors

5 Essential Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Road Warriors

Memorial Day is just around the corner, and that means the unofficial start to summer! As Americans prepare for long-weekend getaways, trips to the beach and family picnics, they’ll also be faced with what’s predicted to be one of the busiest Memorial Day Weekends on record. Relatively low gas prices means the roads will be extra crowded.

Here’s our top 5 essential tips to consider if you’re planning a Memorial Day weekend road trip.

  1. Fill up the night before.
    Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave. If you wait until you’re on the road you may find gas stations are extremely busy. Wouldn’t you rather spend a little extra time at your destination than waiting in line at the pumps?
  2. Know your route before you leave.
    Spend a few minutes planning your route the night before you leave. Don’t get caught in unexpected construction or detours. While most state Department’s of Transportation suspend work during major holidays, lane closures and detours will still be in effect.
  3. Time your road trip appropriately.
    Do your best to avoid being on the road during peak travel times. Consider leaving early on Friday (before 9:00 am), or waiting until Friday night (7:00 pm or later) or Saturday morning. Going home, try to leave on Sunday or early Monday morning (before 9:00 am). If you wait until Monday afternoon, you will join millions of others doing the same thing… what a way to spoil an otherwise great weekend.
  4. Give yourself some extra time.
    It’s always best to plan a few stops along the way. Leave a little early, take a break or two while traveling and perhaps stop along the way for a quick snack. There’s nothing wrong with getting to your destination a little early… it fact, you may be thankful for a little time to decompress after a few hours on the road.
  5. Get some rest.
    No one likes a cranky driver. Short tempers, distracted drivers and lack of rest is a deadly combination while on the road, especially in holiday traffic. Get to bed early the night before you leave.

On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

 

 

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.

The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.

At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.

Maid of the Mist Ready for Earliest Launch in History

Maid of the Mist Ready for Earliest Launch in History

For the second consecutive season, the Maid of the Mist will launch on the earliest date in the storied history of one of North America’s longest running tourist attractions.

The 2017 season will begin Saturday, April 1, at 9:00 a.m., from its Niagara Falls, New York, landing. The season runs through November 5. In 2016, the season began April 2.


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“Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII are ready to navigate the waters of the Lower Niagara River to the Maid of the Mist Pool at the base of the Horseshoe Falls,” said Christopher Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist.  “Our captains, crew members and associates are prepared to welcome guests from around the world as we build on last year’s record season, when 1.6 million visitors boarded our iconic vessels.

“Our guests with take with them an experience that will last a lifetime.”

Beginning Apr. 1 through May 19, tours will operate 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (weekdays) and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (weekends).

Other schedule highlights include:

Victoria Day Weekend
May 20–May 21
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
May 22–May 26
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday, May 27
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 28
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, May 29
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

May 30–June 16
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Sun-Fri)
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Sat)

June 17–August 8
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (daily)

August 9–August 28
9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (daily)

August 29–September 3
9:00 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. (daily)

Labor Day Only
Monday, September 4
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 5–October 3
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(weekdays)
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(weekends)

October 4–October 31
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (daily)

November 1–November 5
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (daily)

Adult tickets are $18.25; tickets for children (6-12 years) are $10.65.  Children 5 and under ride free with an accompanying adult.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.maidofthemist.com