Local Travelers Hit Beaches and Area Waterways

Local Travelers Hit Beaches and Area Waterways

High gas prices not a deterrent this holiday weekend
Elizabeth Carey
independence day forcast

Independence Day weekend is here, and travelers are flocking to vacation destinations. This year, AAA expects more than 47.7 million travelers to hit the roads and take to the skies to celebrate the July 4 holiday (July 1-5). Travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, according to AAA research, trailing only 2019. And, road trips are expected to be the highest on record for this holiday - up five percent from the previous record set in 2019.

Local road trippers, from Western and Central New York, are looking to visit oceans and lakes this Independence Day. Based on requests for AAA maps, TripTiks and TourBooks, here are some of the top destinations:

  • East Coast beaches: New Jersey and Delaware shores, Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks
  • Closer to home: the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands, and the Finger Lakes
  • National Park trips: Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon
  • New England Trips: Cape Cod, Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park 

Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91 percent of holiday travel will be by car. Higher gas prices won’t deter road trippers this summer. While prices will remain above $3 a gallon, travelers are likely to look for more free activities or eat out less, but still take their vacations as planned.

Holiday travel demand is pushing up pump prices, along with an increase in oil prices. Crude oil, and in turn gas prices, are more expensive compared to years past mostly due to three major factors including confidence in worldwide vaccination rollout, global oil demand spikes, and the easing of travel restrictions leading to optimism for leisure travel. 

Last week, crude oil sold at $74/bbl, the highest price in nearly three years. Analysts expect oil prices to continue to rise.  Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.12, up two cents since Monday. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.17 – up two cents since Monday. 

TSA passenger counts show that air travel is also recovering. With 3.5 million people planning to fly, air travel volumes this Independence Day will reach 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels and increase 164 percent compared to last year. Travelers should arrive at local airports 90 minutes before flight departure and even earlier if flying out of popular tourism destinations. Attempting to rebook a missed flight will lead to further complications. Masks are still required in airports and on aircraft. Travelers should continue to use good hygiene and bring wipes and sanitizer to clean their seating areas on public transportation.

Before heading out on a trip, AAA reminds motorists to plan their route in advance and ensure their vehicle is operating smoothly to avoid a breakdown. AAA expects to rescue more than 460,000 Americans at the roadside this Independence Day weekend. The AAA Mobile App for iPhone, iPad, and Android is a convenient option to find the lowest gas prices in a given area. Plus, the app is the quickest way to request roadside assistance, map a route, find discounts, or book a hotel. 

AAA’s expert travel consultants can help travelers plan their perfect getaway – simply stop by a AAA branch, call (888) 320-3163, or visit:

AAA Travel

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