July 01, 2008 01:01 ET

July 4th Travel: Slight Downturn Expected, Says AAA Texas

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - July 1, 2008) - Regional travel for the Independence Day holiday is expected to decline by nearly two percent compared to last year, according to projections from AAA Texas.

Nearly 2.8 million Texans are expected to take holiday trips this week, a decrease of almost two percent from the 2007 total. Of those, about 2 million will drive to their holiday destination, which is a decrease of almost two percent from last year. And 445,000 travelers are expected to fly to their getaway, which is almost a four percent decline compared to last year. The other travelers will use other transportation including buses or rail.

"Record high gas prices and concerns about the economy are clearly affecting holiday travel," said Mark Bell, general manager for AAA Texas. "However, despite the slight decrease in the number of people traveling this July Fourth, it is important to note that there are still millions of Americans who will be heading out."

Nationally, July Fourth travel is expected to decline by 1.3 percent compared to last year, with 40.45 million Americans projected to take trips.

The top destinations for Texas travelers over the July Fourth holiday, according to a survey of local AAA travel agents, are:

1)  San Antonio, Texas
2)  Orlando, Florida (Disneyworld)
3)  Galveston Cruises (Caribbean: ex. Cozumel, Belize)
4)  Las Vegas, Nevada
5)  National Parks (Grand Canyon, Yosemite)

Saving money on gas will be a concern for many drivers this holiday. AAA Texas advises motorists to:

1)  Try to plan departure times that don't coincide with heavy traffic.
2)  Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and that tires are properly
    inflated before hitting the road.
3)  Drive gently and steadily, gradually stepping on the gas and
    anticipating stops by slowly decelerating.
4)  Avoid speeding. Your vehicle gets significantly better fuel economy at
    65 mph than at 80 mph.
5)  Use an online mapping tool such as AAA Triptik ( to
    determine where the best gas prices are located along your route and
    buy gas at those locations.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Dan Ronan
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    E-mail: Email Contact
    Email Contact
    Phone: 469-221-8217 - office
    469-583-7070 - cell

    Rose Rougeau
    E-mail: Email Contact
    Phone: 713.284.6552 (direct)
    1.800.888.5521 (ext. 6552)