Calendar blamed for fewer July 4th travelers


AAAIn 2012, Independence Day fell on a Wednesday, which the American Automobile Association says created a six-day holiday period for many. This year, it falls on a Thursday, reverting to a five-day period and a slight decrease in total travelers.

40.8M Americans will be going 50 miles or more during the period, down 0.8% from last year when the total was 41.1M.

“This year nearly 41 million Americans plan to celebrate the nation’s birthday with a getaway, a slight decline from last year,” said AAA Chicago Regional President Brad Roeber. “This projection is due to the calendar effect of one fewer day in the holiday period and economic growth that is not robust enough to offset the impact of the sequester and the effect of the end of the payroll tax cut on American families.”

The automobile is the travel method of choice for 34.4M, or 84% of all travelers. The total number hitting the roads is down 0.7% from 2012.

Air travel is actually going up slightly, with those taking to the skies increasing slightly from 3.06M to 3.07M.

The travel period generally runs from Wednesday 7/3 until Sunday 7/7. 32% will depart on Wednesday and 38% will return home on Sunday.

The average excursion will cover 613 round-trip miles, and the average traveler will spend $747.