Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA-Nebraska, says the travel forecast for the 4th of July weekend calls for a boost in vacationers.
“AAA Travel is predicting 41-million Americans will journey at least 50 miles or more sometime between Wednesday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 6th,” Weinholzer says. “That’s about a 2% increase over last year and it’s about 14% more than traveled for Memorial Day.” That’s five-million more travelers on this holiday than the last one.
The motor club says most travelers, about 85% of them, will be heading to their destinations in motor vehicles, so gasoline prices will be one deciding factor in how far they go.
Weinholzer says, “Gas prices are below the national average by anywhere from a nickel to a dime but above last year’s totals that people were experiencing at the pump last year.”
The current statewide average price in Nebraska is $3.60 a gallon, compared to the national average of $3.68. A year ago, the statewide average was $3.52.
The 4th of July holiday falls on a Friday this year, making for a natural three-day weekend for most Nebraskans. She says Independence Day is usually the busiest of the summer holidays, for good reason.
“We’ve got some states that don’t let their schools out prior to Memorial Day and others that go in prior to Labor Day but obviously everybody is off around the 4th of July,” Weinholzer says. “School schedules typically keep Memorial Day and Labor Day lower than the 4th of July travel.”
The highest-ever statewide price for gasoline in Nebraska was hit in July of 2008 at $4.10 a gallon.