Record holiday travel expected as people take to the sky, roads for July 4

Worst days to travel start now but gas prices are similar to last year, AAA says

Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Record holiday travel expected as people take to the sky, roads for July 4
Record holiday travel expected as people take to the sky, roads for July 4

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Holiday travelers in the Philadelphia area are making final preparations as they get ready to put rubber to the roadway and head to their 4th of July destinations.

We spoke with several drivers as they were fueling up and making the necessary preparations to begin their journeys, hopefully without delay.

Troy Burgess said he was getting his car ready today so he and his wife could have an easy trip to Atlantic City where he said they'll be indulging in a little rest and relaxation for the holiday.

"I'm going to leave early enough to get down there and hopefully avoid most of the traffic," Burgess said.

The busiest travel days are expected to be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Elvis Delfi, of Clearwater, FL, said he'd already gotten a taste of holiday travel on his 18-hour drive from Clearwater, Florida to our area. He said the drive was good, but he expected that to change as he and his family traveled further north to their final destination in Connecticut.

"It's actually been not too bad. Not too much traffic," Delfi said. "But I know once we hit Jersey and get close to the George Washington Bridge, it'll be a lot of traffic."

Travelers can try to avoid peak travel in the next day, which is likely between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. when the afternoon commute mixes with people getting out of town.

RELATED: TSA preparing for record number of travelers over 4th of July holiday

In Philadelphia's five-county area, more than 972,000 residents are predicted to travel during this July 4 holiday period, which is up 5% from last year. The majority of those travelers-808,000 people-will be traveling by car.

In Pennsylvania, gas prices are roughly the same as this time last year and nowhere near the highs from two summers ago. However, they are on the rise with the price of regular unleaded gas up 10 cents in the last week, averaging out to $3.61 per gallon.

Jana Tidwell, AAA Public Affairs, said she doesn't expect gas prices will hold anyone back from traveling.

"The price of gas will be a non-factor in terms of whether people travel, take that road trip or not," Tidwell told Action News. "People are ready to go."

If you want to skip driving, there are certainly other options to get folks to where they're going, including trains and buses. Tidwell said about 72,000 people in our area would be relying on those modes of transportation.

Sequitta Wells said she and her kids could not sit in holiday traffic this year so she decided to take Amtrak to our area from Washington D.C.

She said they would be relying on the train throughout the holiday weekend to get them from point A to point B.

"It was nice, but it was long," Wells said. "It's also cheaper."

For the latest traffic in your area, click here.