AAA Projects Fewer Travelers This Weekend

July 1, 2008 ( - If you're planning to hit the road this weekend, it may be a little less crowded.

In fact, AAA – for the first time this decade – estimates a decline in the number of Americans traveling during the Fourth of July holiday travel period.  

Not that you won’t have company.   Even though the volume is expected to be down 1.3%, AAA still projects 40.45 million Americans will be on the road, down from 41 million a year ago.   AAA also notes that this would be the second consecutive travel holiday this year where a year-to-year decrease was forecasted. AAA projected a nearly one percent drop in holiday travelers – those who go 50 miles or more from home – for the Memorial Day travel holiday.

Still, according to AAA, more than 13% of the U.S. population will be on the road this holiday weekend despite record gas prices.   Most (nearly 85%) will be driving, with 11% flying (that’s down 2.3% from a year ago), and the remaining 1.7 million travelers plan to travel by train, bus or other mode of transportation.

Starting Points

The greatest number of Fourth of July holiday weekend automobile travelers will originate in the Southeast with 8.7 million, followed by the West with 8.5 million; Midwest, 6.5 million; Northeast, 5.7 million; and Great Lakes, 4.7 million.

The West is expected to produce the largest number of air travelers with 1.78 million, followed by the Southeast with 813,000; Midwest, 727,000; Northeast, 695,000; and Great Lakes, 518,000.