Nick Jarmusz, spokesman for AAA-Iowa, says the motor club survey indicates it’ll be a vacation weekend like never before. “This is going to be the biggest Independence Day holiday travel period that we have on record,” Jarmusz says. “Nearly 47-million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more from home during the six-day stretch around the holiday.”
The travel forecast is up 5% from last year. Based on the survey, the highways across Iowa and nationwide will be busy. “The vast majority are going to be traveling by car,” Jarmusz says. “It’s still a road trip auto weekend, although we are expecting quite a few air travelers, in fact, quite a few more air travelers than typical. We’re expecting an 8% increase in the number of folks who are traveling by air.” Even higher gasoline prices aren’t keeping people home for the holiday.
“We’re seeing nationwide and here in Iowa the highest gas prices that we’ve seen in the past three to four years,” Jarmusz says, “Still, it’s not nearly as high as what we saw as recently as 2014.” The statewide average price for gas is $2.70 a gallon. That’s up about 60 cents a gallon from a year ago, but the average price back in 2014 topped $3.50 a gallon. The current national average price is $2.85, about 15-cents a gallon higher than in Iowa.
July Third is already being referred to as Terrible Tuesday as the motor club predicts heavy traffic congestion in the late afternoon as commuters leaving work early mix with holiday travelers.