556,200 state travelers on July Fourth

AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year.

The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as July 1- 5.

Oklahomans will also be traveling in near-record numbers. AAA expects 556,200 will travel over the holiday, a 0.7 percent increase from last year. Of that number, 479,600 will be on the highway, a 0.5 percent increase from last year, and 68,200 will fly, a jump of 1.3 percent from 2014. Another 8,400 Oklahomans will get there by other means, including multi-modal, boat, train and bus.

“We believe these travel numbers have rebounded because incomes are up, driven by a strong employment market, and consumer confidence is above where it was a year ago” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Plus, despite recent bumps, gas prices remain 90 cents or more below where they were a year ago and will likely be the lowest for the Fourth in five years.”

Oklahoma’s average price for regular gasoline on June 25 was $2.58 – 95 cents below where it was a year ago. The national average gas price was at $2.78, a drop of 90 cents from the price on June 25, 2014.

AAA expects to rescue nearly 360,000 motorists at the roadside across the country this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle’s fluids and check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a holiday getaway.  Travelers will encounter moderately higher lodging rates and airfares this Independence Day.  According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 6 percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost nine percent more, averaging $195. Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent higher, climbing to $227.