High Fuel Prices Won't Keep July 4th Travelers Home
The Daily Auto Insider
Friday, June 30, 2006
Record numbers of travelers are expected for the Fourth of July, according to AAA Chicago. AAA estimates that 40.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, a 1.2 percent increase from the 40.2 million who traveled last year. About 80 percent, or 34.3 million travelers, will travel by car although the national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.86, which is a 66-cent increase from last year.
"Higher vacation costs, including fuel, are not causing travelers to cancel their vacation plans," said Nicole Niemi, spokesperson for AAA Chicago. "The Fourth of July is the biggest vacation travel weekend of the summer, and this follows the trend of increased travel throughout 2006."
It is no surprise that ocean and beach vacations top the list of preferred destinations this holiday with 22 percent of travelers saying they will be taking a water-based vacation. Small towns and rural areas were the next popular destination, with 21 percent and cities were third at 19 percent. Ten percent of travelers will head to the lake areas, and 5 percent to the mountains.
AAA's Leisure Travel Index shows other vacation costs up somewhat from Fourth of July 2005. Hotel rates are up slightly, averaging 10 percent higher for AAA-Rated Three Diamond hotels for the 20 top destinations used in the comparison. Airfares are up 7 percent and car rental rates are up 5 percent.