The Fourth of July weekend is typically the busiest travel weekend of the year since it’s the one major holiday which coincides with kids being out of school for summer vacation. It’s also a time when many families take their yearly family summer vacation.
Higher Gas Prices
Even with gas prices at the highest level for the holiday weekend since 2008, the higher fuel costs aren’t expected to keep people out of their cars. Gas prices typically fall in June with the run-up to the Forth of July weekend, but that hasn’t been the case this year as oil prices have remained high due to geopolitical uncertainty in Iraq. Current gas prices are approximately $0.20 higher than they were the same time last year. While gas prices aren’t expected to stop people from traveling, AAA notes it might cause consumers to cut back spending in other areas like dining, shopping and other travel-related activities.
Higher Hotel Prices
It’s not only gas which will cost more. Hotels will also be more expensive than last year. AAA estimates lodging at hotels rated on their scale as three diamonds will cost 9% more with travelers having to spend an average of $178 a night, up from $164 in 2013. More budget-friendly two diamond hotels will see an even a bigger increase, costing 15% more than 2013, for an average price of $137 a night.
Car Rentals Unchanged
For those looking to rent a car for the weekend, they’ll pay approximately the same amount as they did last year. The daily rate for weekend car rentals is expected to remain steady at approximately $58 a day.
Lower Airfare Prices
The big financial winners this year are those who will be traveling by plane to their destination. AAA says airfares are 5% lower than in 2013, with discounted fares to the 40 top US routes averaging $215, $13 less than the $228 average last year. The number of people traveling by air is expected to increase from 3.07 million last year, to 3.1 million this year.
(Photo courtesy of Nicholas A. Tonelli)