AAA: Records will be broken as drivers hit the roads this holiday weekend

WASHINGTON — This Fourth of July weekend will see a record number of drivers on the road in the D.C. area and around the nation, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

This weekend alone, close to 1.1 million people are expected to take a trip.

“That’s the largest number of travelers we’ve seen at the Fourth of July since we have been keeping records,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend.

Nationwide, 42.8 million people have vacation plans, which will take them out of town.

The dominant mode of transportation is the car, with 917,000 people in the D.C. area expected to hit the road. Townsend said that means travelers will have a lot of company out there and should expect to see a lot of brake lights during their trip.

“No matter what stratagem you come up with, your next door neighbor and the guy across the street will have the same plans,” Townsend said.

Townsend said the lowest gas prices in a decade and an improving economy seems to be pushing more people to take an out of town vacation.

“Travel spending is all discretionary income, so if you don’t have it, you don’t travel,” Townsend said.

Behind cars, airplanes will be the second most popular way for people to get away. In the D.C. region, 77,000 people have plane tickets for a weekend retreat. Nationally, 3.3 million people will make airports very crowded this weekend.

As locals leave, expect a lot of travelers from elsewhere to take their place, in Washington D.C. With airfares and hotel prices down by as much as 19-percent from last year, many travelers have plans to celebrate Independence Day, in the nation’ capital.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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