MADISON, WI (WLIP)–AAA forecasts a historic surge in travel for this year’s Independence Day, with nearly 1.6 million Wisconsinites among the record-breaking 70.9 million Americans expected to journey 50 miles or more from home.

This projection represents a substantial increase from last year, driven by growing consumer confidence, rising wages, and strong spending despite inflation concerns.

Road Travel: A record 60.6 million Americans, including 1.4 million Wisconsinites, are anticipated to hit the road, marking a 2.8 million increase from 2023.

AAA advises travelers to prepare for significant congestion, particularly in the afternoons and evenings around major metro areas and popular attractions.

Gas Prices: Wisconsin’s gas prices have fluctuated between $3.22 and $3.41 since Memorial Day, with a current average of $3.30 per gallon, slightly lower than last year’s $3.38.

Prices are expected to remain volatile through the summer.

Air Travel: An unprecedented 5.74 million Americans will fly to their destinations, a nearly 7% rise from last year and 12% above 2019 levels.

Domestic airfare is slightly cheaper this year, averaging $800 for a roundtrip.

AAA recommends arriving early, reserving parking, and opting for carry-on luggage to streamline the travel experience.

Other Modes of Transportation: Travel by buses, cruises, and trains will see a 9% increase, totaling over 4.6 million travelers.

Cruise travel, particularly to Alaska, remains in high demand.

Traffic Advisory: INRIX, a transportation data provider, advises avoiding travel during peak times from 2 PM to 7 PM before and on July 4th.

The worst traffic is expected on July 3rd and July 7th.

Travelers should utilize 511 services and traffic apps for real-time updates.

This Independence Day promises to be a bustling period for travel, with AAA advising patience and planning to ensure a smooth journey.