HAMILTON, N.J.– AAA Mid-Atlantic projects that approximately 1.2 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming July 4th holiday, a slight decrease of 0.4% compared to those who traveled for Independence Day 2012.

“Since July 4th falls on a Thursday, the calendar plays a role in the slight decline year over year, retuning the travel period to the standard five-day holiday compared to the six-day period in 2012 when the holiday fell on a Wednesday,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. 

When asked about day of departure, 46% of people intending to travel this holiday plan to begin their trip prior to the start of the holiday travel period July 3rd -7th.  The largest share of travelers (32 percent) on a single day will depart on July 3 and the largest share will return on July 7 (38 percent). Thirty-four percent intend to stretch their holiday vacation into the following week returning on or after Monday, July 8. 

Travel by Mode of Transportation:

Automobile

  • New Jersey – 1,043,559 (84% of travelers), a decrease of 0.3% from last year
  • Nationally – 34.4 million (84% of travelers), down 0.7% from 2012

Air

  • New Jersey – 93,931 (7.5% of travelers), an increase of  0.6% from those who flew in 2012
  • Nationally – 3.07 million (7% of travelers), an increase of 0.2% from last Fourth of July

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode

  • New Jersey – 108,251 (8.7% of travelers), a decrease of 2.9% from 2012
  • Nationally – 3.3 million (8% of travelers), down 3.3% from last year.

One interesting finding from the survey: 28% of respondents plan to visit national or state parks, compared to last year’s response of 15%, a double-digit increase.  The number appears to offset a double-digit decline in plans for dining out, with 49% saying they plan to do that, compared to last year’s response of 62%.

Top ten most popular activities planned for the holiday, according to AAA’s survey:

  • Visit friends/relatives 57%
  • Dining 49%
  • Shopping 44%
  • Touring/Sightseeing 36%
  • Go to beach/waterfront 36%
  • Visit national or state parks 28%
  • Hike/bike 23%
  • Attend festivals, craft fairs, etc. 22%
  • Visit historic sites 21%
  • Enjoy night life 20%

“Independence Day is typically the busiest holiday of the summer travel season with 36% more New Jersey residents traveling than Memorial Day just two months ago. The Fourth of July benefits from the fact that all schools across the state are out of session, making it truly a time for family fun,” continued Noble. “And although AAA’s projection for Independence Day travel is relatively flat year over year our roadways and routes to the Jersey Shore will be congested with travelers eager to support their local communities and Restore the Shore.”  

Motorists will find the average price of gasoline at $3.38 per gallon in New Jersey, $3.73 in New York, $3.50 in Pennsylvania, and $3.48 in Delaware.

New Jersey Gas Prices on July 4th for the past 5 years:

  • $3.28 in 2012
  • $3.56 in 2011
  • $2.60 in 2010
  • $2.52 in 2009
  • $3.99 in 2008

Finally, AAA reminds motorists that temperatures inside parked cars can quickly reach dangerous levels putting unattended children and pets at high risk. 

  • Never leave children or animals unattended in a car—not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures in the nineties can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle within 20 minutes causing brain damage or death.
  • When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car’s interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.
  • Open the vehicle’s doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.