Millions expected to travel for Forth of July despite record-high fuel prices

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Those high gas prices — which continue to soar — may be impacting our bank accounts, but it doesn’t appear to be stopping traffic this holiday season.

Locally, high gas prices are hardly deterring residents from a fun weekend at West Point Lake, which will be the background for Troup County’s annual firework show at Pyne Road Park. 

Kathy Tilley, president and CEO of Visit LaGrange, said July is LaGrange’s largest travel month of the year.

She expects this year to be no different.

“We do try keep up with travel patterns on holiday weekends in terms of visitors to LaGrangem” Tilley said via email Wednesday.

“We are expecting a busy weekend with a large number of visitors to the area.”

According to AAA, a record 42 million people will be hitting the roads between June 30 to July 4. A total of 47.9 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this holiday weekend.

“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel, in a press release.

“Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off.

People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”

AAA predicts recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancelations and delays may be to blame for the increased number of people traveling by car. AAA said the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011.

This year’s estimated travel numbers show 1.7 million more people traveling than in 2021 and about 1.1 million less than in 2019, pre-pandemic.

AAA said the cost for rental cars, hotels and car rentals have increased since last year. Also, if you’re just now planning your trip, it’s expected that last minute deals are very unlikely.

The top U.S. travel destinations include Orlando, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and New York, New York. In Atlanta, the worst time to travel is expected to be Thursday 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Interstate 85.

The general worst times to travel are Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from noon until 9 p.m. The best times are before 7 a.m. and after 8 or 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, per AAA.