An Estimated 47.9 Million People Will Travel for the Fourth of July Weekend

And we've got some tips for a smooth trip.

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Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

This Fourth of July weekend, gas prices, inflation, and chaotic flying conditions aren't stopping people from going on a trip. AAA reports that an estimated 47.9 million people will be traveling between June 30 and July 4. That is a higher forecasted figure than the 2021 travel season and only a million or so fewer people than the 2019 travel season. This Independence Day will be the second busiest for travel since 2000.

It's not surprising that the holiday weekend will be busy, as experts have been predicting for the better part of 2022 that this summer will see record numbers of travelers no matter what it costs. That being said, a study from The Vacationer found that "more than 50% of all American adults say gas prices will affect their Fourth of July travel plans this year."

"The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear," said Paula Twidale, senior vice president at AAA Travel, in the study released by AAA. "Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it's not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation."

The bulk of Independence Day travelers will be heading out in their cars. AAA predicts that 42 million people will travel by car to take journeys that are a minimum of 50 miles away from their homes. That means if you have road trip plans, there are ways to prevent being trapped in hours of standstill traffic. The most important thing is to carefully plan the hours you'll spend on the road.

AAA says that the worst times to travel between June 30 and July 4 are Thursday between 2:00 and 8:00 pm, Friday between 12:00 and 9:00 pm, and Saturday between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. If you are planning on hitting the road on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, there are times when you are less likely to encounter traffic.

  • Thursday before 7:00 am or after 8:00 pm.
  • Friday before 10:00 am or after 9:00 pm.
  • Saturday before 12:00 pm or after 7:00 pm.


Based on this report, travel on Sunday and Monday will be less congested. If you're in one of the following cities, you'll likely encounter backed-up traffic no matter what.

Courtesy of AAA

No matter where you're traveling this summer, the odds are that you'll be attending a BBQ or watching some fireworks. The Vacationer found that more than 41% of Americans said they plan to attend a BBQ or cookout for Independence Day, while about 30% of people plan to watch fireworks.

Whatever you plan on doing, do it safely!

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.