Record-breaking number of Wisconsinites may travel for 4th of July weekend

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


More than 1.13 million Wisconsinites are expected to take at least one trip of 50 miles or more during July 4 weekend, according to the American Automobile Association.

That number tops the previous record-high of 1.08 million set last year.

Nationally, about 50.7 million are predicted to travel for the holiday weekend, nearly 2.1 million more than last year.

Independence Day weekend appears to be the continuation of what has already been a very strong summer travel season, said Debbie Haas, Vice President of travel for AAA.

Although airfares and hotel rates are more expensive than last year, Americans are still eager to travel.

So, expect to see congested roads, busy hotels, and long lines at airports and attractions.

About 85% of the holiday weekend travel will be in the form of road trips. More than 1 million people in Wisconsin are estimated to take a road trip this year, which AAA said is a first for the state.

Gas prices bode well for these travelers, as prices are predicted to be well below what drivers paid during last year’s holiday period.

Last year, gas prices in Wisconsin were an average of $4.60 per gallon on July 4. So far this summer, the state average has been below $3.60 per gallon.

Many people will also take to the air to travel, with 4.17 million Americans estimated to travel by plane. Another 3.36 million people will travel by bus, cruise or train.

With these record-breaking numbers, here are the best and worst times to travel during the holiday weekend.

Best and worst times to travel

Thursday, June 29

Best time: Before noon

Worst time: Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Friday, June 30

Best time: Before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Worst time: Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 1

Best time: Before noon

Worst time: 1 p.m.

Sunday, July 2

Minimal traffic expected

Monday, July 3

Minimal traffic expected

Tuesday, July 4

Best time: Before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Worst time: Between noon and 3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 5

Best time: Before 2 p.m.

Worst time: Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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