AAA expects heavy traffic over July 4 weekend

Published 9:45 am Saturday, July 1, 2023

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As America’s birthday approaches on July 4, AAA projects that 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, setting a new record for the holiday.

Domestic travel over the long weekend is set to increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. According to AAA, this year’s projection surpasses the previous Independence Day weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.

“We’ve never projected travel numbers this high for Independence Day weekend,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “What this tells us is that despite inventory being limited and some prices 50% higher, consumers are not cutting back on travel this summer. Many of them heeded our advice and booked early, another sign of strong travel demand.”

This weekend is expected to set a new record for the number of people traveling by car for the holiday. According to AAA, 43.2 million people are expected to drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4% over 2022 and 4% higher than 2019.

Kathy Tilley, president of Visit LaGrange, said July is the number one summer travel season of the year. LaGrange typically sees many people come through whether it’s for Independence Day or the Summer.

“Last July, our hotel occupancy was at about 74%. Three out of every four hotel rooms were full last July. I’m sure the bulk of that comes the week of July 4 — not all of it, but a lot of it,” Tilley said. “July 4 is definitely a good time for LaGrange and definitely a revenue-generating week for the city in terms of visitors.”

Tilley said July is an excellent visitation month.

“July is the number one travel month in terms of Americans traveling and we do get to see our piece of it. We typically see growth in July and we love that.”

Local governments will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of the Fourth of July. City of LaGrange offices will be open Monday, July 3, and resume as normal on Wednesday, July 5.

According to Katie Van Schoor, City of LaGrange’s marketing and communications manager, garbage pickup will be normal on Monday, July 3. All garbage pickup days will be pushed back by one day. For example, if your regular pickup day is Tuesday, it will be Wednesday this holiday week.