More than a million people in New Jersey will hit the road for July 4 weekend, according to AAA

In projections reminiscent of pre-pandemic travel statistics, AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates 1.3 million New Jerseyans will venture 50 miles or more from home at some point over the upcoming holiday weekend. of independence.

Public and government affairs manager Tracy Noble said that for AAA purposes, this holiday weekend begins Thursday, with heavy travel expected as early as mid-afternoon.

And with the 4th of July falling on Monday, some may have chosen to take a vacation throughout the next week.

“It says a lot about people having pent-up energy to travel,” Noble said. “They may have put vacation plans on hold for the past two years, and they’re coming back to it this year with a vengeance.”

Another sign that residents of the Garden State are putting COVID-19 concerns behind them, at least for now, is the projected 151.5% increase in alternative modes of transportation such as trains, buses and ferries.

That’s only about 5% of all New Jersey travelers, or less than 67,000 people, but Noble admits the jump percentage is staggering given the declines of the past two years.

“It’s a significant increase and it really shows you where we are in terms of people’s comfort level around COVID,” she said.

Those planning to fly out for the long weekend make up less than 10% of New Jersey vacationers and represent an increase of less than 3% from last year.

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But given recent hitches with flight cancellations and delays, the vast majority of travelers plan to get to their destination by car — 1.1 of 1.3 million across the state, virtually unchanged from 2021. .

Noble said that’s not necessarily surprising, despite gasoline prices which, even with a recent drop, remain about $4.90 per gallon on average in New Jersey.

“People won’t be discouraged from taking their summer vacations,” Noble said. “They planned it, they booked it well in advance, and despite the gas prices, they still go.”

And although the average price is half that of a year ago (about $3.13), jumping in the car is still the most cost-effective choice, according to Noble.

“Even adding in the higher gas prices, if you’re a family of four or five that needs to get to your destination, the road trip is still the cheapest way to do it,” she said. declared.

If you’re traveling by car, Noble said now is the time to inspect vehicles and make sure everything is in working order before the weekend.

She also suggests exploring planned routes and finding side roads that can avoid congested highways, and arriving safely by limiting distractions and telling everyone to buckle up.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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