July 4 travel forecast to surge in Florida despite high gas prices

AAA predicts 2.3 million Floridians will drive for holiday

Millions of Floridians are expected to hit the road for Fourth of July travel, despite high gas prices, according to AAA.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Millions of Floridians are expected to hit the road for Fourth of July travel, despite high gas prices, according to AAA.

AAA is predicting 2.6 million Florida residents will travel 50 or more miles from June 30-July 4, with over 2.3 million traveling by car. The auto group said the number of Floridians driving for the holiday is expected to be the most on record.

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“The volume of travelers expected over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” Debbie Haas, vice president of Travel for AAA, said in a news release. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation.”

Stacey Dealy is heading to SeaWorld and will be spending the next couple of days in Central Florida with her five kids.

They drove from Michigan to Florida and will hit the road again to go to Georgia for Fourth of July weekend.

“We could not afford to fly down at all. That was not even an option. We looked and it went off the table right away. We were like, ‘We are not paying for that,’” Dealey said.

Florida gas prices averaged $4.82 per gallon on Sunday, decreasing 7 cents a gallon last week after reaching an all-time high of $4.89 per gallon. In addition, the national average price for regular unleaded is back below $5 a gallon.

Across the U.S., AAA is predicting 47.9 million people will be traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend.

“You have these families who are looking at their budgets and saying flying isn’t going to be the most cost-effective. Driving offers that ability to control your expenses and also allows you to control the length of your trip,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA.

Drivers should prepare for the longest delays on Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July 1, in the afternoons.

AAA said while air travel is expected to be 2% stronger than last year, travel volume is expected to be below pre-pandemic levels because of ongoing cancelation concerns and delays.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.