Ohioans expected to travel for holiday at record rate


High gas prices and a holiday in the middle of the week aren’t expected to keeps Ohioans from traveling in record numbers during the week of the Fourth of July.

More than 2 million Ohio residents are expected to travel to celebrate Independence Day week, the highest on record since AAA started tracking holiday travel 18 years ago. The number is 6 percent higher than 2017.

“A strong economy and Independence Day falling in the middle of the week, offering more travel flexibility for families to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday, are factors contributing to the increase in travel to celebrate the nation’s birth this year,” said AAA Managing Director of Leisure Travel, Micki Dudas.

PHOTOS: Historic Springboro luxury home for sale

Travel rates have been steadily increasing over the last few years, she said.

The mid-week holiday means there is potential for fewer people to travel on the holiday itself, but AAA’s forecast finds that vacationers will travel before and after the holiday. The top five destinations for residents in this region are national parks in the West, Florida, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, coastal areas in the Northeast and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Of the more than 2 million Ohio travelers, almost 1.8 million will travel by car, up 6 percent compared to 2017, despite higher gas prices.

The average gas price in Ohio is $2.76 per gallon, up from about $2.10 last year. Dayton is higher than average at $2.80 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com

» BIZ BEAT: New discount clothing retailer may be coming to Dayton Mall

“It could be a deterrent when anybody’s putting together a travel budget, but overall consumer confidence is up,” Dudas said. “With the economy, it’s the stabilization. People have more confidence that they will have discretionary money to spend.”

With extra money to spend, Dudas said travelers are looking for the “fun and warm.” Nationwide, about 47 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles, up 5 percent from last year.

The higher rate of travel for the holidays lines up with general travel trends. Vacationing has been on the rise during 2018, and 2019 is also looking like a heavy travel year as vacationers book trips further advance, Dudas said.

“I’ve been in the business over 40 years and I can honestly tell you booking trends are kind of cyclical,” Dudas said. “We are seeing people book further out. I think this is really because of the kind of trips they are taking.”

Instead of trips within the United States, some are taking more international trips in the upcoming years including African safaris and Paris.

»RELATED: Technical issue at PSA Airlines Dayton headquarters grounds 675 flights

But the difference between everyday vacations and the Fourth of July is that holiday vacations tend to be multi-generational family trips, Dudas said.

“People want to meet with family and friends over holidays,” she said.

The most congested day will be July 3 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., especially in larger metro areas when holiday travelers mix with commuters leaving work early for the holidays, according to AAA.

Dudas advises travelers to get their vehicles inspected before they leave for vacation. AAA estimates it will receive 362,000 emergency road service calls nationwide during the Independence Day travel season.

“Share the road—we have 2 million travelers—bring your patience,” Dudas said.

In addition to road travelers, about 88,000 Ohioans will fly, up 5 percent from last year. Nearly 3.8 million will fly nationwide during the holiday season.

FIVE FAST READS

Family Video closing 2 area stores, selling movies for as low as $1

Macy’s to expand pop-up marketplace with new partnership

Dayton flight to Houston successful; could lead to two flights

Video game chain GameStop may be up for sale

UPDATE: Beavercreek shopping center to expand



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Some flea-tick products increase seizure risk in pets, FDA says
Some flea-tick products increase seizure risk in pets, FDA says

Some flea and tick drugs could cause seizures and other neurological issues in pets, and owners should consult with their veterinarians to decide on an appropriate treatment, the Food and Drug Administration said.  >> Read more trending news  Some cats and dogs on Bravecto, Nexgard, Credelio and Simparica, which use isoxazoline...
Strip club closed after food stamps used to buy lap dances, drugs, investigators say
Strip club closed after food stamps used to buy lap dances, drugs, investigators say

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission revoked the liquor permit of Sharkey’s bar, an adult entertainment establishment, effective at the close of business Thursday, after investigators used food stamps to buy lap dances. >> Read more trending news  Agent-in-Charge Michelle Thourot said agents began investigating the Twenty Two Fifty Inc...
National Guard delivers 7,000 hot plates to residents affected by gas pipeline explosion
National Guard delivers 7,000 hot plates to residents affected by gas pipeline explosion

Merrimack Valley residents affected by last week's gas explosions and fires still don't have gas service as crews work to restore 48 miles of pipeline. Without gas service, most residents won't be able to heat their homes or cook their food. With that in mind, officials have implemented temporary solutions into their recovery plan, which includes delivering...
Man mows down nearly a dozen emus in Australian outback, video shows
Man mows down nearly a dozen emus in Australian outback, video shows

The driver has a thick mustache, black glasses and wears a hat as he delights in mowing down nearly a dozen emus at breakneck speed in the Australian outback, a video shows.  Other than that, much about the video is unknown. >> Read more trending news  The Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals New South Wales shared...
Firefighters battle fully involved barn fire in Clark County
Firefighters battle fully involved barn fire in Clark County

Firefighters battled a fully involved barn fire in Springfield Township Saturday. Crews responded to the fire located in the 700 block of North Bird Road around 7 p.m., according to Clark County dispatchers. There were not animals inside the barn, but it was filled with hay, said dispatch.
More Stories