Fewer Americans are expected to travel next weekend, even though the Fourth of July holiday is traditionally one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A Iowa, says many people in the state and nation are concerned about the economy — and their jobs — so many would-be travelers are staying put.
White says A.A.A. projects the number of Americans traveling this Independence Day holiday will be down overall about 1.9% from last year, but lower fares will give air travel a slight boost. She says about 37-million travelers are expected to take a trip of 50 or more miles away from home, but the number of people projected to travel by car is down nearly 3%.
White says plenty of Iowans are still getting out of the house for the holiday — they’ll just be staying closer to home instead of taking a big trip.
"Many people are taking those ‘stay vacations’ and state parks are expected to be very busy for the holiday as well as local city events which offer fireworks shows and other free family attractions," White says. "We expect those events to be very popular this year."
She says flexible Iowans who like to take spur-of-the-moment trips might be able to find cheap airfares and lodging, even at this late date. A survey by the motor club of 20 popular U.S. tourist destinations finds air rates for the July 4th holiday are down nearly 16% and hotel rates are 12% less than last year.
The statewide average for gasoline prices is $2.59 a gallon, which White says is eight cents below the national average.