For the last three years, travel over the Fourth of July weekend has decreased as Americans dealt with issues brought on by the pandemic. According to AAA, though, that won’t be the case in 2023. This year the country’s roads and airports will be jam-packed like never before, with more than 43 million Americans planning to drive 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend. That represents a 4 percent increase over 2019 and marks a new record for July 4th driving.
When travelers going by planes, buses, and trains are considered, an all-time high of 50.7 million Americans will head out of town between Friday, June 30 and Independence Day on Tuesday. “We’ve never projected travel numbers this high for Independence Day weekend,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “What this tells us is that despite inventory being limited and some prices 50% higher, consumers are not cutting back on travel this summer.”
Fireworks sellers are also expected to enjoy better business this year than in the recent past. Although 2020 led to record sales for home fireworks as public displays got canceled, the years that followed saw the industry hurt by supply chain problems that increased prices. With freight costs falling, however, fireworks have become cheaper to ship, and retailers plan to pass the savings on to customers. In fact, this week will be crunch time as stores deal with an influx of last-minute shoppers getting ready for the big weekend. “It’ll be a massive rush here at the very end, last week prior to the fourth, it takes quite a few employees to manage the store, salesman, restocking, pricing and getting people out to help celebrate the fourth of July,” said Spencer McOscar, owner of Crazy Joe Fireworks in Indiana.
- Why do you think Americans plan to travel in record numbers for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend?
- Why are fireworks sellers expecting to see higher sales this year compared to recent Independence Days?
Sources: Chunzi Xu and Lucia Kassai, “Record Number of Americans Set to Travel Over July 4th Weekend,” Bloomberg, June 26, 2023; Ryan Jaghab, “ABC57 Explores the Economics of Fireworks Ahead of July 4th,” ABC57, June 26, 2023.