Thousands of Delawareans are expected to join the more than 47-million Americans getting away this upcoming July 4th holiday weekend.
Last summer, not many First State residents traveled over the Fourth of July due to the COVID pandemic.
This year is a different story as Delaware’s State of Emergency Order is set to be lifted on July 13th.
“Here in Delaware we are looking at about 136,000 Delawareans, that’s about 14% of the State’s population, hitting the roads and hitting the air to travel this 4th of July holiday weekend,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Ken Grant.
He adds that AAA projects this will be the second busiest July 4th holiday travel weekend on record, trailing only 2019.
Grant points out the higher travel volume comes despite higher travel costs.
“It’s safe to say that a lot of people are feeling that extended cabin fever from last year - not being able to get out and visit family and friends - and now they’re taking full advantage of everything they can," said Grant. "And that’s in spite of what we expect to see is higher lodging costs and higher car rental costs. And gas prices obviously are higher than this time last year.”
He notes gas prices are about 75- to 85-cents above where they were this time last year, hovering around the $3-mark nationally and in Delaware.
Grant says that car travel is taking precedence over air travel, 93% compared to just $6%, as many Delawareans surveyed said they just aren’t ready to sit beside strangers as the world continues to emerge from the pandemic.
Grant adds that although the CDC advises fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk, it is important to remember some local and state restrictions may remain in place.
The CDC recommends unvaccinated people practice social distancing, wear a mask and get tested for COVID before and after traveling.