Preparing for a Surge in Fourth of July Travel: Tips to Navigate Traffic Delays

If you’re among the projected record-breaking 70.9 million travelers embarking on a Fourth of July getaway, prepare yourself for potential traffic delays.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are opting for extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4 week to be the busiest ever, with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”

Whether traveling by airplane or car, historic highs in traveler numbers are expected. Approximately 5.74 million individuals will fly to their Independence Day destinations, marking a 7% increase from last year, partially due to slightly lower domestic airfare.

This year, 2.8 million more people will hit the road compared to last year, totaling 60.6 million travelers. Major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco are experiencing peak demand for rental cars, according to AAA partner Hertz.

Here’s what you need to know about Fourth of July travel:

Most Popular Destinations:

  • Domestic: Seattle, Orlando, Anchorage, Honolulu, Miami
  • International: Vancouver, London, Rome, Dublin, Paris

Best Times to Drive: To minimize traffic congestion:

  • Depart before noon on July 3 and 4.
  • Return before 11 a.m. on July 7 or after 7 p.m. on July 8.

Peak Congestion Times in Major US Cities: Plan to avoid the worst traffic:

  • Atlanta: July 7, 6:30 p.m.
  • Boston: July 4, 1:45 p.m.
  • Denver: July 8, 2:45 p.m.
  • Houston: July 6, 1:30 p.m.
  • Los Angeles: July 8, 2:15 p.m.
  • New York: July 7, 2:15 p.m.
  • San Francisco: July 2, 5:45 p.m.
  • Seattle: July 7, 4:30 p.m.
  • Washington, D.C.: July 8, 3:15 p.m.

“For the smoothest journey, travelers should stay updated with 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps,” advised transportation analyst Bob Pishue.

Back to top button