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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are ready to enjoy their “independence” from higher gas prices.
Nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, which would set a record for the holiday. The holiday is defined as June 30-July 4, according to AAA. Eighty-four percent of these holiday travelers — more than 36 million people — will drive to their holiday destination, excellent news for convenience store retailers. If achieved, the number of Americans driving to their destinations will increase by 1.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
Although the nationwide average gas price per gallon has risen in recent weeks, drivers will be paying the price at the pump for the Independence Day holiday period since 2005. The national average price per gallon is currently $2.31, 47 cents less than at the same time period one year ago, the trade agency revealed.
“Spurred by the lowest gas prices since 2005, more people than ever are planning to travel this Independence Day weekend,” said Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO. “Whether they’re traveling by car, plane, train, or cruise ship, it will be exciting to see so many Americans celebrating our nation’s freedom with their friends and family over the long holiday weekend.”
U.S. drivers have saved approximately $20 billion on fuel this year compared to the same period in 2015, reported AAA. The trade group stated lower fuel prices, in addition to a more confident consumer and rising economic activity are offsetting a cooling labor market.
“We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel,” concluded Doney. “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.”