The Automobile Club of Southern California expects another increase in travel volume for the Independence Day holiday, continuing the trend of recovery over the past year despite continued record gas prices and increased costs. Nearly 3.3 million Southern Californians will travel over July Fourth weekend, which is the third highest volume for this holiday locally behind 2019 and 2018. Nationally, 48 million people are expected to travel. The vast majority will travel by automobile even with the high pump prices.
By the Numbers
“We expect that the recent lifting of the COVID testing requirement for air passengers re-entering the U.S. will continue the increase in demand for international vacation bookings that we are already seeing this summer,” said Heather Felix, the Auto Club’s vice president of travel products & services. “Increased costs are a factor for budgets, but working with a trusted travel advisor and being flexible with schedules and destinations can help consumers get some great travel deals.”
Top Travel Destinations
Near-record gas prices continue frustrating drivers in Southern California and across the country. The Auto Club recommends travelers take the following steps to maximize fuel efficiency on summer road trips:
- Make sure tires are properly inflated
- Get rid of extra weight not needed for road trips
- Drive the speed limit and use cruise control when safe to do so
- Avoid using overhead luggage racks that create drag
- Park in the shade or use window sun visor to lessen heat build up inside vehicle
- Download Auto Club app to find cheapest gas prices near you
Check Vehicles Before Trips to Prevent Breakdowns
The Auto Club expects to rescue nearly 65,000 motorists in Southern California alone over the Independence Day holiday period, and more than 446,000 nationwide. To avoid a breakdown on a road trip, the Auto Club recommends drivers inspect tires, batteries, belts, hoses and fluid levels, or have them inspected at a trusted mechanic such as a AAA-Approved Auto Repair facility.
Traffic Volume Expected to Peak Thursday, Friday Before Holiday
The transportation analytics firm INRIX projects that the busiest Southern California freeways on the Thursday and Friday before the holiday will include Interstate 5, Interstate 10, Interstate 405, and CA-57. To maximize fuel economy, the Auto Club recommends travelers avoid driving on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons in Southern California. Early mornings are generally the best time to travel during holiday weekends.