If you’re considering hitting the road over Independence Day weekend, expect low gas prices and high traffic volume.
That’s the gist of the AAA’s driving forecast.
According to the nonprofit association, pump prices haven’t been as low as they currently are at this time of year since 2005.
The national average gas price today is $2.30 per gallon. That’s down from $2.775 one year ago and down from an all-time high of $4.114, which was reached eight years ago next month.
AAA estimates that U.S. drivers have saved about $20 billion on gas so far this year compared with the same period last year.
Of course, as is often the case, including over the Memorial Day weekend last month, the prediction of decreased gas prices is accompanied by a prediction of increased road travel.
AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this weekend. That’s 5 million more than Memorial Day weekend — and the highest travel volume on record for Independence Day weekend.
Of those 43 million travelers, 36 million — 84 percent — are expected to drive to their holiday weekend destinations.
All types of travel are projected to increase this weekend, though:
- Driving: More than 36 million people will take to the roads, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year.
- Air travel: 3.3 million people will fly, an increase of 2.2 percent.
- Other travel (including cruises, trains and buses): 3.3 million people will use these forms of transportation, an increase of 2 percent.
Marshall Doney, AAA president and chief executive, notes:
“We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel. This trend is welcome news for the travel industry and a sign that Americans are taking to our nation’s highways and skies like never before.”
If you are among those 36 million Americans expected to hit the road this weekend, first check out:
- “8 Cheap Ways to Keep Your Car Running Cool in the Summer Heat“
- “7 Car Maintenance Tips for Safe Summer Travel“
- “7 Rental Car ‘Gotchas’ and How to Avoid Them“
How do you plan to enjoy the holiday weekend? Let us know below or on Facebook.
Find the right financial adviser
Finding a financial adviser you can trust doesn't have to be hard. A great place to start is with SmartAsset's free financial adviser matching tool, which connects you with up to three qualified financial advisers in five minutes. Each adviser is vetted by SmartAsset and is legally required to act in your best interests.
If you're ready to be matched with local advisers who will help you reach your financial goals, get started now.