Orlando is the No. 1 travel destination for Fourth

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Holiday travel is rebounding from its COVID-19 pandemic slump and this Fourth of July, many of those travelers will be flocking to Orlando.

AAA said in a recent news release that nearly 2.6 million Floridians are expected to travel this weekend, an increase of 36% when compared to last year and the second-highest amount on record. Nationwide, 47.7 million Americans are planning to take a trip, a 40% increase when compared to July 4, 2020.

Travel is back this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue vacations they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kickoff of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day.”

AAA also looked at travel booking data for flights and tours to determine the top destinations:

Orlando, Florida
Anaheim, California
Denver, Colorado
Las Vegas, Nevada
Seattle, Washington
Chicago, Illinois
New York, New York
Atlanta, Georgia
Boston, Massachusetts
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
For Floridians, most who plan to travel will be doing so by car, according to figures provided by AAA.

Florida July 4 travel figures Total                Auto            Air            Other
2021                                      2,591,109       2,393,767    174,107     23,235

2020                                      1,906,846       1,823,936      68,550     14,360

2019                                      2,605,796       2,270,959     194,490    140,346

That auto travel could be more expensive as AAA reports that Independence Day gas prices will likely hit highs not seen since 2014.

“Road trips provide a sense of freedom and more control over the duration of your trip,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Even more expensive gas prices are unlikely to deter Americans from that road trip many have waited more than a year for. If anything, motorists are more likely to cut back on other expenses like lodging and dining out, to offset the higher cost of fuel.”

As of June 21, the average gas price in Florida was $2.94 per gallon compared to previous July Fourth prices of $2.11 per gallon in 2020, $2.68 in 2019, $2.73 in 2018, $2.15 in 2017, $2.23 in 2016, $2.67 in 2015 and $3.60 in 2014.

It’s not just gas prices that have swelled recently. Travelers can also expect rates for mid-range hotels to be up between 32% and 35%, plus rental car rates are up 86% compared to last year. No matter where or how you’re traveling, AAA suggests using caution and planning ahead.