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Expect A Busy Florida Fourth Of July Travel Weekend, AAA Says

People walking and waiting in line.
Many people will be on the go for Fourth of July weekend, including 3.5 million people planning to fly, according to AAA.

A recent report indicates millions of Floridians will travel during Fourth of July weekend. It also shows they will pay more for hotels and gas during their road trips.

After many people decided to cancel their Fourth of July trips last year because of COVID-19, most will now get to make up for the time lost as a recent report from AAA forecasts that more than 47.7 million Americans will take at least one trip this year.

Specifically in the Sunshine State, AAA predicts that about 2.6 million Floridians will take a trip for the holiday weekend, which is the second-most in their records.

“Travel is back this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue vacations they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA, said in a news release. “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.”

Road trips will continue to be the most common way people get around, and they are expected to reach record highs.

According to the report, about 2.4 million Floridians will drive to their destinations.

“Road trips provide a sense of freedom and more control over the duration of your trip,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in the release.

Those driving to their destinations can expect to see the highest Fourth of July gas prices since 2014.

According to the report, Florida gas prices averaged $2.94 so far this year.

Also, with the Fourth of July falling on a Sunday, drivers can expect to see plenty of congestion as people leave early for the holiday and return to their homes after their festivities.

“With travelers eager to hit the road this summer, we’re expecting nationwide traffic volumes to increase about 15% over normal this holiday weekend,” Bob Pishue, transportation analyst for INRIX, said in the release. “Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon, along with Monday mid-day.”

Around 3.5 million people nationwide are expected to travel by air, an increase of 164% compared to last year.

Buses, trains, and cruise ships are the other ways people will travel for the holiday, with 620,000 expected to do so. This is a 72% increase compared to last year.

The top travel destination? AAA says it will be Orlando, followed by Anaheim, Calif., Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle.

However, those heading to Orlando’s theme parks -- and elsewhere across the country -- should prepare for higher prices in hotels and car rentals.

The average nightly rates for mid-range hotels nationwide range from $156-$398, which is an increase of between 32% and 35%, according to AAA.

Daily car rentals have increased by 86% compared to last year and are peaking at $166.

The report from AAA advises those to follow COVID-19 safety restrictions that are installed by the local area or state wherever they travel.

Leonardo Santos is the WUSF Rush Family Social Media Intern for the fall of 2021, his second straight semester with WUSF.
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