Oregon AAA Travel Predictions: Higher Gas, More Cars, Cheaper Airfare
(Portland, Oregon) – AAA is making its travel predictions for the Fourth of July weekend, and it looks like higher gas prices, a few more people on the roads, higher hotel costs but slightly lesser air fares.
The Portland office of the AAA is projecting 41 million Americans (12.9 percent of the population) will be heading 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The agency said in the Pacific region (which includes Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, California and Alaska) that travel will likely increase about 1.4 percent. By far the largest numbers will be those traveling by car – about 80 percent.
In Oregon, it seems drivers here will be paying the highest gas prices since 2009. Oregon's average is $3.98 compared to $3.76 on Independence Day last year. Many stations in the Portland area are over $4 a gallon, however.
Recent years have seen gas prices actually dip a bit just before this peak travel time, but AAA said unrest in Iraq is driving prices upwards.
The most popular travel destinations for this holiday weekend be central Oregon, Crater Lake and of course the Oregon coast (see lodging advice here). Outside the state, Disneyland rules for families, but so are European vacations to Italy, France and England.
Travelers in the air will be up about one percent from last year, AAA predicts. This comes about 3.1 million leisure travelers, or 7.6 percent of all holiday travelers. Numbers are slightly higher for those in the Pacific region.
Airfares are down five percent this year, with an average lowest round-trip rate of $215 for the top 40 U.S. air routes compared to $228 last year, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.
Meanwhile, the price of lodging is up about nine percent from last year.