Awards & Events

Record Number Traveling for July Fourth Weekend

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A record 44.2 million Americans will travel over the Independence Day weekend, including 7.8 million in the Midwest, according to AAA.

“More Americans are eager to take advantage of the strong economy and celebrate with family and friends,” said Jim Lehman, president of AAA East Central, in a release. “Steady gas prices are providing an extra spark for Fourth of July travel plans.

In the organization’s East North Central region – which covers Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin – 6.9 million will travel by car, up 3.3% from a year ago, while 354,000 will fly and 581,000 will travel by other methods, such as bus or train.

AAA defines holiday travel for the weekend as venturing 50 miles or more between June 30 and July 4.

Driving the uptick in travelers is cheaper gas. This year, the average price is $2.24 per gallon, down five cents from last year and “historically low for the summer travel season. AAA noted, however, that prices may rise slightly as the weekend approaches, similar to trends seen around Memorial Day.

For rental cars and hotels, prices are also down. The average daily rate to rent a car is $65, while the average AAA Three Diamond-rated hotel is $185 per night.

Orlando remained the No. 1 travel destination, followed by Vancouver, Canada; Cancun, Mexico; Seattle; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.