Travel this Independence Day holiday period is expected to reach a record level with nearly 49 million Americans taking trips of 50 miles or more away from home during the five-day holiday period.
Rose White with AAA Nebraska tells KNEB News this is the highest level since AAA began tracking holiday travel 19 years ago.
Of those traveling –
41.4 million by car (84.7%)
3.9 million by plane (8.1%) — (Another agency is reporting 12 million trips will be taken by air during the holiday period. Keep in mind that this agency considers each air segment a trip. As an example, a RT flight with one connection each way would count as four trips.)
3.5 million other – train, boat, rail (7.2%)
White says AAA predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion in the major metro areas on Wednesday, July 3 as commuters mix with holiday travelers.
Factors driving the increase include favorable gas prices, low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes.
For those venturing out this holiday period, it is important that you stay abreast of the latest bridge and road closures, and White suggests visiting some websites before taking off.
Websites for bridge and road closures, roadway construction:
Nebraska – 511.Nebraska.gov (download the app)
Iowa – 511ia.org
Missouri – modot.org
Websites for Travel Information:
Travelers are encouraged to visit the state travel websites, as well. There you will find a wealth of information on the numerous offerings at our state parks and recreation areas, holiday events, community concerts and festivals and much more.
Nebraska — VisitNebraska.com and outdoornebraska.gov.
Fuel Update — Pump prices updated July 1, 2019
The national fuel price average of $2.71 a gallon is 14 cents lower than last year.
In Nebraska, the average is 17 cents lower than the national average at $2.54 a gallon. A year ago, the state average was $2.76.
White says crude prices are climbing and with the increase in demand over the July 4th holiday period, we can expect to see fuel prices increase. During the past month, crude has risen from a low of $51/Barrel to today’s price of $60/Barrel.
Some fuel outlets located in the flood impacted areas may still be closed. Keep an eye on your fuel level.
And White says for those heading to the East Coast, Philadelphia Energy Solution’s refinery will permanently shut down this month, following a massive explosion. This is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast processing 335,000 barrels per day. The closure will have an impact on gas prices across the region, though it is too early to know how much prices could increase. Gasoline stocks from Canada and neighboring refineries were identified as solutions to help with supplies, but these are short-term solutions. Long-term solution are unclear.
For the latest information on fuel prices, along with a helpful fuel cost calculating tool for drive vacations, visit gasprices.AAA.com.