Travel industry experts predict the upcoming Fourth of July holiday will be the busiest-ever for travel by car, truck, SUV and van in Iowa and nationwide, despite record or near-record gasoline prices. Meredith Mitts, spokeswoman for AAA Iowa, says the forecast predicts nearly 48-million people will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday, and 42 million will travel by motor vehicle.
The average price for gas in Iowa is now $4.68 a gallon, down from the all-time record set last Wednesday of $4.76. The national average is $4.94. A year ago, gas in Iowa was averaging $2.89. Based on past holiday history, Mitts says pump prices will likely bounce again before the Fourth of July arrives.
The demand for travel started rising earlier this year, she says, and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break, Mitts says, and despite higher prices, they’re still finding ways to take that much-needed vacation.
While air travel is forecast to be slightly stronger than last year, domestic air travel volumes are expected to remain well below pre-pandemic levels. She blames recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancelations and delays due to pilot shortages.