John Treanor

Record Independence Day Travel Expected to Draw Millions

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (June 20, 2024)  - AAA is anticipating a bustling Independence Day holiday with an estimated 71 million people projected to travel across the United States over an extended forecast period.

This year’s forecast represents a 5 percent increase from the 67.4 million Fourth of July travelers in 2023 and marks a significant 8 percent surge from pre-pandemic records. For the first time, AAA has extended its outlook to include the entire week surrounding July 4th, including the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday.

An estimated 8.76 million Californians are anticipated to join the ranks of travelers during the nine-day forecast period, reflecting a 5 percent increase from last year. 

While the majority of Californians (79%) will hit the road, air travel has shown the most substantial growth across all modes of transportation, increasing 12.3 percent since 2019.

“Californians are opting to take longer trips with Independence Day falling on a Thursday,” said Brian Ng, Senior Vice President of Membership and Travel Marketing for AAA Northern California. “This further fuels summer travel demand that is showing no signs of slowing down.”AAA Northern California offers the following tips for travelers:

  • Stay Informed. Gas prices are currently lower than 2023, but a potentially active hurricane season could impact costs. Airfares are about 2 percent less expensive than last year, though the average domestic round-trip flight still averages $800.
  • Exercise Patient. Road congestion is expected to peak on July 3 and again on July 7 and July 8. To avoid traffic, travel during the early morning hours and steer clear of the rush hours from 2 to 7 p.m. For air travelers, arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure and consider minimizing checked luggage to expedite check-in.
  • Be Prepared. AAA is anticipating nearly 800,000 roadside service calls nationwide for the holiday week, including 177,000 calls in California. A pre-trip inspection at a AAA Auto Repair Center can prevent common breakdowns and ensure a smooth road trip. Use AAA Mobile App to find the lowest gas prices, request roadside assistance, and other helpful resources on the go. 


For this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the nine-day period from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7. Historically, the Independence Day holiday period included only one weekend. This is the first year the Independence Day holiday travel period is a longer timeframe with two weekends included.

About AAA Northern California

AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 5,300 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto, and life insurance, travel, and home security services. Learn more at