Skift Take

Following Memorial Day Weekend, Americans are still planning to travel during the next major U.S. summer holiday, but with more careful planning and sentiment stability about rising fuel prices.

More than 55 percent of American adults said they plan to travel for this year’s Fourth of July weekend — an eight percent increase from last year’s Fourth of July, with many mindful of higher gas prices and looking at trips closer to home, according to a recent survey by The Vacationer

However, while overall intent to travel is continuing to rise this summer, U.S. travelers are slightly less aggressive about to traveling more for this summer holiday than this past Memorial Day weekend, which saw travel intent rise by almost 33 percent in comparison to last year.

“While Americans are still going to travel in big numbers this coming Fourth of July, the numbers will be slightly down compared to Memorial Day,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer. “Local activities like fireworks are much more popular on the Fourth of July than on Memorial Day, which is going to keep more people home.”

Source: The Vacationer

Nearly 43 percent of survey participants said that driving would be their primary mode of transportation, which is a six percent increase from last year, despite rising gas prices. Conversely, the number of flyers this upcoming summer holiday has dropped from last year’s 11 percent to nine percent, and the remaining 3.69 percent plan to take public transportation.

Unsurprisingly, the likelihood to travel this Fourth of July decreases significantly with age. The age group most enthusiastic about traveling this upcoming summer holiday are those aged 18-29, with 68.62 percent responding yes to Fourth of July trips. In the 30-44 age group, 64.77 percent expressed travel intent and 50.55 percent of American adults aged 45-60 will travel for Fourth of July.

With over 52 percent of Americans who intend to travel going on road trips for the Fourth of July weekend, many are again choosing to alter their plans with the “nearcation” — of those driving, 26.5 percent choosing to travel within 100 miles of their homes, and 13.88 percent are choosing to stay within a 250 mile radius. Out of all age groups, the youngest generation of U.S. travelers, ages 18-29, is also more likely to be taking road trips for the Fourth of July.

Travelers Learning As They Go

While comparing Memorial Day travel to Fourth of July travel may seem like apples and oranges, there is a small but notable difference in American travelers’ overall sentiment about traveling amid rising gas prices. Memorial Day is the first official widely-celebrated summer holiday in the U.S., and this year, it was a test run of sorts

Fifty percent of Americans said their travel plans would be affected by gas prices this Fourth of July, which is a nearly four percent decrease from this past Memorial Day weekend, when 53.6 percent of American adults said that gas prices would affect their travel plans.

One reason that gas concerns are slightly lower could be because people are traveling a bit less than Memorial Day. Many Americans are watching fireworks during this particular holiday, which are usually at local parks and areas not far from their homes. Since they will won’t be driving as far, gas is less of a concern.

On the other hand, while finances continue to be unpredictable and remain strong deciding factors in summer travel, it is possible that U.S. travelers have slightly more stability in July summer travel plans compared to late May.

As the summer goes on and American travelers get a better idea of what domestic summer travel costs may look like, those planning summer trips should be less likely to make last-minute changes to their plans.

“Travelers have now been dealing with inflation and gas prices longer and know how to adjust expenses accordingly,” adds Jones. “After Memorial Day expenditures, they can better plan for the Fourth of July.”

While the impact of inflation is still high on domestic travel, the slight decrease in the alterations suggests that travelers may have learned their lesson and are making plans that have already been adjusted to inflation, or are perhaps not traveling at all.

Tags: airfares, fuel costs, fuel prices, gas, inflation, leisure travelers, road trips, summer, summer travel, Summer Travel Demand, us travel