CUMBERLAND — It’s expected that Americans will travel at pre-pandemic levels over the Independence Day weekend, with approximately 47.7 million planning trips.
In Maryland, experts at AAA Mid-Atlantic anticipate the holiday weekend will be a record-breaker, as more than 1 million people are expected to travel, breaking the previous record set in 2019. When broken down, 960,000 will go by automobile, 67,400 by plane and 9,000 by bus, train or cruise.
The high numbers of Americans likely to be on the move represents a 40% increase compared to last year, where the total plummeted to 34.2 million.
“Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue travel opportunities they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the unofficial kickoff of summer. All indications now point to a busy Independence Day to follow.”
Gas prices, however, will also be up this holiday weekend, especially when compared to last Fourth of July. On Wednesday, the Maryland average gas price was $3 for a gallon of regular unleaded, up from $2.20 a year ago. In Cumberland, the average was $2.97, up from $2.18 this time last year.
“(Monday), 89% of U.S. gas stations are selling regular unleaded for $2.75 or more. That is a stark increase over last July 4 when only a quarter of stations were selling gas for more than $2.25,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “Roadtrippers will pay the most to fill up for the holiday since 2014.”
AAA analytics partner INRIX predicts drivers will experience worse congestion heading into the holiday weekend as people leave work early and mix with holiday travelers and on Monday as people return midday.