(Irving, TX) – Many Texans will soon take the All-American road trip to celebrate the July 4th holiday, and according to a recent survey, AAA Texas forecasts 3 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend. The majority of travelers, 2.5 million Texans, will travel to their destinations by automobile. The overall travel volume during this Independence Day holiday travel period is forecast to be 2.9 percent higher than last year. The travel period is defined as a five day period from Wed., July 2 to Sun., July 6.
U.S. travel sentiment has improved compared to the levels seen a year ago, with a 10 percent increase in the desire to travel. That’s based on a measure of travel messages in the United States on the social media platform Twitter. Looking at more recent changes, the overall US travel sentiment is up significantly in comparison to one month ago, with a 30 percent increase in the desire to travel. Texas travel sentiment remains strong and at a similar level to last year. Analysts are finding total travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years since the recession.
“As in years past, a large number of Texans will celebrate Independence Day with friends and family as well as with cook-outs and fireworks,” said Rhonda Wilson, AAA Texas Vice President Branch Operations. “Before heading out for their trips, we encourage travelers to stop by their nearest AAA Texas branch office and let our travel agents and auto counselors help plan their summer vacations.”
Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans
AAA expects the majority of U.S. drivers likely will pay the highest gas prices for Independence Day since 2008. In recent years gas prices have declined in the weeks leading up to Independence Day, but this has not occurred this summer due to high crude oil costs resulting from violence in Iraq. AAA does not believe that high gas prices will have a significant impact on the number of people traveling, but it could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities. Traveling by automobile is still the most economical mode of transportation for most people and the primary mode of transportation during travel periods. AAA Texas forecasts modes of travel this Independence Day weekend will be:
- Automobile - 2.5 million – Up 3.1%
- Air Travel - 271,000 – Up 2.7%
- Other Travel (Trains, Buses, Cruise Ships) - 210,000 – Up 1.0%
AAA offers mobile travel planning resources
AAA cartographers have created a regional series of six maps that cover the entire state of Texas and include all major routes, both FM roads and highways. Stop by your local branch or call the member services number on your card to order. To find your local branch address and phone number visit www.AAA.com.
AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from city titles, like Orlando, New York and the award-winning Las Vegas, as well as National Parks.
Free AAA apps for iPhone and Android devices use GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby member discounts and find current gas prices. Travelers can learn about AAA apps and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.
Travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s digital travel planning tools or online at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
About AAA Texas
The AAA 2014 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast combines information from multiple sources to provide a forecast of travel patterns for the upcoming holiday period. This report comprises two key components—the Travel Forecast and the IHS/AAA US Travel Sentiment Index (UTSI). The Travel Forecast is based on economic conditions while the US Travel Sentiment Index is developed by analyzing social media around travel. This approach combines a quantitative and qualitative view of holiday travel at both the national and regional levels. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA Texas can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/AAATexas and Twitter at: @AAATexas.