The auto club says a majority will travel by car.
Towson, Md (KM). You’ll have plenty of company if you’re traveling 50 miles or more from your home for Independence Day. AAA Mid-Atlantic says almost 47-million Americans will be heading out for the July 4th Holiday. “Here in Maryland, we’re also seeing historic highs with approximately 993,000 Marylanders expected to travel over this long holiday weekend,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Government and Public Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It’s a record high. It’s the highest that we’ve seen since we’ve been tracking holiday travel projections.”
Averella says most residents will be traveling by car, even though gasoline is expensive. “So here in Maryland, we’re expecting 863,000 people will be driving to their holiday destinations,” she says.
She notes that gas prices have been dropping since the Memorial Day Holiday, but they’re “still significantly higher than they were a year ago.”
This year, the number people traveling by air is up, according to AAA. “Over 7% more people are expected to travel here in Maryland by air then this time last year for the 4th of July Holiday,” says Averella. “We’re anticipating that about 75,000 Marylanders will be flying.” She says a lot of that is due to a decrease in air fares by 9% compared to last year.
“Many Marylanders are seemingly optimistic about the economy and the way the economy is going,” says Averella. “And because of that, they are particularly willing to spend some of what’s usually considered discretionary money on travel.”
But AAA says many Marylanders and other Americans will be traveling to their destinations on July 3rd, which is called “Terrible Tuesday.” “We are projecting that the busiest day by far will be Tuesday, July 3rd, particularly in the afternoon hours, early evening hours, as commuters leaving work mixing with travelers heading to their holiday destinations for the 4th will intermix, and we will see significant traffic congestion on that day,” says Averella.
If you plan to leave on July 3rd, and don’t want to encounter heavy traffic, Averella suggests you leave before 8:00 AM that day, or after 8:00 PM.
By Kevin McManus