Record-Breaking Travel Volumes Expected July 4th Weekend as More Than 600,000 Oklahomans Plan to Travel


The July 4th holiday weekend traffic is already on the upswing as more than 600,000 Oklahomans are expected to make at least a short drive of 50 miles or more over the coming weekend. They will be among 71 million Americans going somewhere this week for the Independent Day celebration or taking advantage of the near-mid week observation.

AAA says the number of motorists is expected to be 5.2% more than a year ago and will set a record for the holiday travel. The organization eplained that it looked at the entire July 4th week plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday in making its predicted estimate.

More than 85% of travelers – or more than 550,000 Oklahomans – will be hitting the road for the holiday, up 4.6% over last year. Air travel is up 6.5% over last year, with AAA projecting more than 60,000 Oklahomans, 9.4% of local travelers, will take to the skies. And, travel by other modes of transportation, which was slowest to recover from the pandemic, is up 13.9% over last year, with more than 30,000 Oklahomans, 5% of local travelers, training, busing or cruising to their holiday destinations.

“With school out for the summer and remote work flexibility for many people, this July 4th week will be the busiest ever as Americans prioritize extended travel opportunities around the holiday,” said Rylie Fletcher, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “Independence Day is always the busiest travel holiday of summer, with this year looking at the highest number of travelers on record.”

2024 Projected Independence Day Holiday Travelers – Oklahoma


Total Population

2024 Travelers

Percent of population traveling

Percent change vs. 2023

Oklahoma TOTAL

Auto, Air & Other





Oklahoma Auto

85.5% of people travel by car




Oklahoma Air

9.4% of people travel by air




Oklahoma Other

(train, bus, cruise, etc.)

5.0% of people travel by other modes




National TOTAL

335.3 million*

70.9 million



National Auto


85.4% of people travel by car

60.6 million



National Air


8.1% of people travel by air

5.74 million



National Other

(train, bus, cruise, etc.)

6.5% of people travel by other modes

4.62 million



*U.S. Census Bureau (v2023)/IHS Markit


Nationally, AAA projects 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Independence Day holiday travel period*. This year’s projected number of travelers for that time period is a 5% increase compared to 2023 and an 8% increase over 2019.

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over July 4th week. Gas prices are lower than last year when the national average was $3.53. Pump prices will likely continue going down leading up to Independence Day.  At that point, they will likely level off and remain relatively stable until after Labor Day, similar to last year.  An important caveat is hurricane season – underway now – which could affect gas prices should a storm negatively impact Gulf Coast oil production and refining centers.

The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019. AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2% cheaper this Independence Day week compared to last year, and the average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is $800. Airports will be packed throughout the week. AAA recommends arriving 2 hours early, reserving parking ahead of time, and traveling with carry-on luggage versus checked bags to save time and money.

More than 4.6 million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. This category is seeing an increase of 9% compared to last year, but this year’s number is shy of 2019’s figure of 4.79 million. Cruising continues its remarkable post-pandemic comeback. This time of year, Alaska cruises are in high demand, making Seattle and Anchorage top domestic destinations. Cruise travelers are also finding deals this summer. With new ships coming onto the market – and going for a premium – some cruise lines have been offering targeted discounts to fill older inventory for remaining cabins.

Best/Worst Times to Drive

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, says the worst times to travel by car before and on July 4th are between 2pm and 7pm. Drivers should hit the road in the morning, and travelers returning on Monday, July 8th should avoid rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon.

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3rd, as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7th, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67% longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”


Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car
Date Worst Travel Time Best Travel Time
Monday, Jul 1 Minimal Traffic Impact Expected
Tuesday, Jul 2 2:00 – 6:00 PM After 7:00 PM
Wednesday, Jul 3 2:00 – 7:00 PM Before Noon
Thursday, Jul 4 2:00 – 7:00 PM Before Noon
Friday, Jul 5 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Before 10:00 AM
Saturday, Jul 6 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM Before 10:00 AM
Sunday, Jul 7 2:00 – 8:00 PM Before 11:00 AM
Monday, Jul 8 1:00 – 5:00 PM After 7:00 PM

Source: INRIX