Posted: June 22nd, 2017

This Independence Day, AAA estimates that a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will honor the red, white and blue and travel more than 50 miles from home. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be the most traveled Fourth of July holiday weekend ever.

For the first time ever, more than one million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel by car, a high percentage of the 1,155,000 Bay Staters expected to travel over the Fourth.

“Strong employment, combined with rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “This historic number of travelers will add to an already bustling summer travel season.”  July 4th is on a Tuesday this year, making it a long weekend for many travelers.

By the Numbers:
• 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. That represents 85 percent of all holiday travelers.
• 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.

“Gasoline prices are close to what they were a year ago, and haven’t been this low for Independence Day since 2005,” Ms. Maguire added. “That’s extra money in the pockets of this year’s vacationers.”

Orlando remains top destination for summer travel
With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel, based on AAA Travel bookings:

1. Orlando, Florida 6. Honolulu, Hawaii
2. Vancouver, Canada 7. Anaheim, California
3. Cancun, Mexico 8. Anchorage, Alaska
4. Seattle, Washington 9. Las Vegas, Nevada
5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

Slow Down, Move Over

The record number of travelers means that motorists are sure to come upon police officers, tow truck drivers, and other first responders in the highway breakdown lanes. AAA reminds the public that every state has a law requiring motorists to move over and slow down when approaching these vehicles. “First responders are killed or injured every year throughout the country, and the Slow Down, Move Over laws are designed to protect those who are working to protect us,” Ms. Maguire said.