Are you hitting the road or maybe even the friendly skies for the holiday? If you are, then you are one of more than 1.3 million Massachusetts residents that are traveling. That’s a lot of travelers! Me... I’ll just stay home, thanks.  

According to AAA Northeast, more than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day holiday weekend through July 5th. In fact, travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. This will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019 just before the pandemic showed up to turn our lives upside down. The number of travelers represents an increase of nearly 40% compared to last year when total travel fell to 34.2 million. Overall, just 2.5% fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019. 

AAA says that Massachusetts residents will be joining the travel parade, with more than 1.3 million planning Fourth of July trips, up from 964,000 in 2020. Of that total, close to 1.2 million will drive, compared to 920,000 last year. INRIX, a data and analytics company based in Kirkland, Washington, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst congestion heading into the holiday weekend as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers, coupled with the return trip on Monday mid-day. Boston drivers could experience up to three times the usual volume on some roadways Thursday and Friday afternoons before the holiday. 

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While all modes of travel will see increased demand this Independence Day, road trips continue to dominate this summer. Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91% of holiday travel will be by car. An expected 43.6 million Americans will drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 5% more than the previous record set in 2019. With 3.5 million people planning to fly, air travel volumes this Independence Day will reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels, and increase 164% compared to last year. 

Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly return to travel experiences they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half... We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kick-off of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day coming up. ~ Mary Maguire, Director, Public and Government Affairs, AAA Northeast 

Another 620,000 Americans are expected to travel by other modes this Independence Day, an increase of over 72% compared to last year, but 83% lower than in 2019.

 

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