Today marks the official start to the July 4th weekend (according to AAA) and with an estimated 41 million travelers this year, here’s what you need to know before you pack up the cooler hit the road.
Check your weather forecast
Tropical storm Arthur is making other plans for those celebrating the red, white, and blue. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts a potential hit to the East coast, affecting popular vacations spots along the way. If you’re traveling to the following areas, make sure you check any cancellations and advisories from the NHC.
Areas most likely affected: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Outer Banks, North Carolina on Thursday July 3rd and Friday July 4th.
Possible areas affected: Ocean City, Maryland on Friday July 4th and Cape Cod and Islands, Massachusetts into Saturday the 5th.
Areas to keep an eye on: Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Atlantic City, New Jersey; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Boston, Massachusetts for potential rain throughout the weekend.
Plan your best road trip route
Close to 85 percent of vacationers will travel by car, according to the AAA Independence Day Travel Forecast, so plan for lots of traffic and potential accidents. This is about a 2.2 percent increase from last year, making the total travelers via automobile 34.8 million—the highest volume since 2007.
Download apps like RoadNinja for the ideal road trip, complete with maps, your favorite restaurant chain location, and the lowest gas prices; waze for community-based traffic updates; and AAA Mobile for roadside assistance and discounts.
Expect high gas prices
Expected to be the highest Independence Day gas prices in six years, the average cost will be close to 20 cents per gallon more expensive than last year. This isn’t expected to deter travelers, but may cut into consumer spending in other areas. Previous years have seen a decline in gas prices approaching the holiday, but higher crude oil costs and conflict in Iraq are keeping prices high.
Check AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report for up-to-date prices and averages.
What are your Independence Day plans this year? Does any of this information affect your travel plans? Wherever the long weekend takes you be safe and have a great 4th.