The greatest number of Texans on record, approximately 3.7 million total, are expected to travel during the Independence Day holiday weekend (July 1–5), according to travel forecast data from AAA Texas. A closer look at the travel forecast, which AAA started in 2000, shows more Texans than ever will drive to their Independence Day destinations, about 3.3 million. That is a 41% jump from last year and a 10% increase from 2019. Airports will be busier too as AAA Texas forecasts around 338,000 leisure passengers will fly to get away, an increase of 177% from 2020 and just around 3% fewer than 2019.
The “Other Travel” category, which includes buses, trains and cruises, is also going to see a recovery by about 75% (+15,000 people) from 2020 totaling around 35,000 passengers but will remain lower by around -83% from 2019 figures.
On a national scale, more than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies during this holiday timeframe, as travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record nationally, trailing only 2019. Overall, just 2.5% fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019. This represents an increase of nearly 40% compared to last year, when total travel fell to 34.2 million.
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.
“After deferring opportunities for nearly a year-and-a-half, more Texans than ever are anticipated to travel away from home this Independence Day holiday,” said Kent Livesay, vice president and general manager, AAA Texas.
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. This includes travel by bus and train, and also the return of cruising. Cruise lines announced limited sailings resuming from U.S. ports beginning in late June.
AAA Travel booking data also indicate a strong travel recovery for summer. Theme parks in Orlando and southern California, as well destinations including Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle are topping the list of Independence Day destinations this year.
AAA’s Top Independence Day Travel Destinations:
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Kahului, Maui, HI