Americans are ready to hit the road over the Independence Day holiday, according to a new report from the Automobile Association of America (AAA). The association is projecting that nearly 71 million travelers will travel 50 miles or more from home between Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, July 7.

The AAA predicts a 5 percent increase in travelers compared with 2023, and an 8 percent increase over pre-pandemic travel figures. 

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

More than 60 million people will travel by car, according to AAA, nearly 3 million more travelers than in 2023 and approximately 5 million more than in 2019. 

Lower gas prices are expected to help spur travelers to go farther, with the national average price of gas coming in at $3.53 per gallon. Prices are predicted to drop further as the holiday approaches and remain stable until Labor Day. 

Air travel is also expected to reach new levels, with an estimated 5.74 million people expected to fly during the Independence Day holiday period. This is an increase of 7 percent compared with the same time period 2023, and is 12 percent more than in 2019.

Buses, cruises and trains will also see an increase in usage, with more than 4.6 million people expected to travel using “other modes of transportation.” This is an increase of 9 percent compared with 2023, and is slightly less than 2019 when more than 4.79 million travelers chose alternative modes of transportation. 

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, warns travelers to avoid traveling between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. The organization recommends traveling during the morning hours and later afternoon to avoid rush hour traffic. 

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3, as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67 percent longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”