New England Travelers to Pack Roads, Airports This July 4

Beginning next Tuesday, look for busy roadways in New England when 86% of the region’s estimated 2.4 million travelers drive 50 miles or more this Independence Day, says AAA Northeast.

Between July 3 – 8, the nation’s major roadways will be very congested when drivers heading for vacation destinations mix with daily commuters and create delays that can be as much as two to three times longer than usual.

For example, in New England, the New York and Boston metro areas will both see heavier than normal congestion in the late afternoon on July 3 between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

What’s driving the record numbers? “A strong economy, more disposable income and the fact that July 4th falls on a Wednesday,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokesman. This gives travelers more flexibility to schedule trips the weekend before or after the holiday.”

Nationally, an estimated 47 million Americans – 5% more than last year – will usher in the July 4 with:

  • Nearly 40 million, a 5% increase, driving;
  • Nearly 4 million, an almost 8% increase, flying; and
  • 3.5 million, a nearly 6% increase, taking some other mode of transportation such as trains, buses, and cruise ships on vacation.

Despite high gas prices, vacationers aren’t cancelling road trips, said AAA. The national average for a gallon of self-serve regular is about $2.85, 60 cents higher than this time last year; while on the state level, Connecticut’s average price of $3.09 is, 65 cents higher than this time last year.