Best and worst times to travel by car this July 4th holiday weekend

AAA projects that 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday. Domestic travel over the long weekend will increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4 weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.

This July 4 weekend is expected to set a new record for the number of Americans traveling by car for the holiday. AAA expects 43.2 million people will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4% over 2022 and 4% higher than 2019. This summer, gas prices are well below what they were one year ago. The national average for a gallon of regular was $4.80 on July 4 of 2022. Gas prices have remained steady the past couple of months, with the national average hovering around $3.50 to $3.60 a gallon thanks to the lower cost of oil.

Air travel is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 4.17 million Americans will fly to their destinations on Independence Day weekend, an increase of 11.2% over 2022 and 6.6% over 2019.

AAA expects 3.36 million people will travel by bus, cruise, or train over the long weekend, an increase of 24% over last year. While more travelers are turning to these modes this year, the number is not expected to surpass 2019’s total of 3.54 million.

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, expects Friday, June 30 to be the busiest day on the roads during the Independence Day holiday weekend, with average travel times up nearly 30% over normal. Major metro areas like New York, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC are expected to see the worst traffic. INRIX recommends leaving in the morning or after 6 p.m. on June 30 to avoid the heaviest holiday congestion.

Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car This Holiday Weekend According to AAA
DateWorst Travel TimeBest Travel Time
Thu, June 294:00 – 6:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Fri, June 3010:00 AM – 5:00 PMBefore 10:00 AM, After 6:00 PM
Sat, July 11:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM
Sun, July 2Minimal Traffic Impact Expected
Mon, July 3Minimal Traffic Impact Expected
Tue, July 412:00 – 3:00 PMBefore 11:00 AM, After 6:00 PM
Wed, July 53:00 – 6:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM